When I have to write a story or press release, I tend to write in an unorganized method. But recently (and fortunately), my News Writing and Media Relations professor has shared his methods in writing media pieces.
In a few short steps we can brake down the process:
First is figuring out your lead. The lede provides the reader with the who, what, where, when and why in one to two sentences. As most of us know, the lede sets the tone for the entire piece, but its important to really think about your lede before you start writing the narrative. Think to yourself, “What do I want the reader to get out of this?”
Then we move to the quotes. Sometimes we don’t have a lot to work with when it comes to quotes but its our job to make sure we let the quotes speak for themselves. The best quote(s) should convey opinion, something that only that person could say.
Next, its important after your finished writing your piece to walk away. This allows you to come back to your piece with fresh eyes. It can be especially beneficial when your not confident in your word choice.
Finally you proof read, which can be done in three steps. First read the whole piece and only look for spelling errors. Then read the whole piece for a second time and only look for grammar mistakes. Finally, read the whole piece for a third time and only look for AP style mistakes.
Feel free to adopt this method or tell us about your own method!