Конкурсная работа №4

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  • Backgrounder69

    1. First Paragraph/Summary
    The backgrounder begins with an overview of the document’s subject. Example:

    “XYZ Corporation, in Baltimore, MD, is one of the world’s largest widget makers, with sales in the past fiscal year exceeding $56 billion.”

    2. Scope
    If you’re writing about an issue or nonprofit, you’ll describe the geographical and/or demographic range of its impact.  Example:

    “Wild birds may carry H5N1 from one area to another through the process of migration. However, the conditions in the production environment, on farms and in rice paddy fields play a major role in subsequent secondary spread of the disease, as do the carrying of poultry from one point to another and live bird markets.”
    (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Avian Flu backgrounder)

    If you’re writing about a business, you’d describe its product line or services. Example:

    “XYZ’s gaming widgets, smartphone doo-hickeys and audio-visual equipment are distributed worldwide. Its products are marketed under the brand names WidgetPro, Tele-Widgets and WidgetTech, respectively.

    3. Mission/Philosophy/Organizational Process
    Here, you’d include your organization’s objectives, areas of focus and possibly its overall way of operating. Example:

    “Leading the widget market through innovation is XYZ’s founding principle, and the company devoted more than $3 million to research and development during the last fiscal year. The XYZ approach is to observe how people use its products in the ‘real world,’ collect direct feedback from users through focus groups and regional conferences, and use that knowledge as the basis for product improvement.”

    4. History
    This component describes the subject’s origins and/or major milestones. It’s typically written in one paragraph, but the avian flu backgrounder I cited earlier provides the disease’s history over approximately three paragraphs (you can do that with a Web page). However, it can be condensed for our purposes:

    “…in the last 10 years there has been a progressive increase in the number of outbreaks of avian flu in poultry compared with the previous 40 years… The human health implications of avian flu were revealed in 1997 during outbreaks in Hong Kong. …Since then, there have been other episodes with human deaths – in Hong Kong and in the Netherlands in 2003, and the current series of outbreaks in Asia …”

    For an organization, you might use something like this:

    “Founded in 1945 by John Doe under the name ZYX Co., the company received its first patent for widget design in 1947. The organization’s name was changed to XYZ Corp in 1980 and it now has nearly 12,000 employees and 60 manufacturing plants around the world.”

    5. Conclusion
    The final paragraph usually provides information such as the geographic location of offices and factories.

    1. Fact sheet70

      Contact name



      Phone number

      Email address

      Web address



      Heading 1 (e.g. History)

      Brief description, 2-3 sentences.

      Heading 2 (e.g. Vision)

      Brief description, 2-3 sentences.

      Heading 3 (e.g. Purpose)

      Brief description, 2-3 sentences.

      Heading 4 (e.g. Goals)

      Brief description, 2-3 sentences.

      Heading 5 (e.g. Call to Action)

      Brief description, 2-3 sentences.

    2. By-liner (Byline Article)71

      Consider your audience. If you are writing for a technology publication, more complicated terms and concepts may be in order. When writing for a lifestyle magazine however, some concepts may need to be toned down. A recent post by New York Times technology columnist and blogger David Pogue makes a humorous case for avoiding technology jargon if at all possible.

      Don’t self-promote. Remember that this is a byline article, not an advertisement. The intent is to establish thought leadership and gain exposure for a product or service without blatantly pitching it to readers. Check the guidelines of the publication for which you’re writing. Chances are they will remove words and phrases that promote your product and don’t otherwise add to the article.

      Develop a strong thesis. Consider the main point that you want your readers to remember from your article, and be sure to weave this into the introduction. Depending on the publication, this thesis might tie a technological concept into a consumer trend or demonstrate how a new service is poised to change the industry.

      Construct an outline. It can be helpful to mimic the outlines used in high school English class when writing a byline article. Begin with a broad theme and narrow it down to the thesis in the introduction. Provide evidence for the thesis in the body of the article. In the conclusion, expand on why the thesis matters in the grand scheme of things.

      Use subheadings. Subheadings can go a long way towards clarifying the main points and keeping your article interesting. Using catchy phrases that sum up important messages above every few paragraphs will make your article easy to read.

      Include quality data. Statistics from reputable sources are a great way to strengthen your argument. Perhaps your client has data from a survey or white paper they commissioned. Backing up your claims with this information will add credibility to the article.

      Don’t be boring. Using correct grammar and proper sentence structure is important, but it doesn’t mean that the article can’t have a few conversational sentences or colloquialisms tossed in for good measure. It’s easy to lapse into tech-speak when writing about complicated technological concepts. Avoid this trap and remember that you are writing a news article, not an instruction manual.

    3. Feature article72

      1. The introduction: It must be strong and attention grabbing and must want to make the reader read on, just like a news article. There are seven types of introduction to consider and which one will best fit your story depends on your content and your angle.

      1. Narrative – This is like telling a story, and is mainly used in lifestyle and consumer magazines which may publish real life stories. E.g. “Claire opened the door. She had no idea that the man standing before her would be the one to change her life forever.”

      2. Descriptive – This is similar, but does not read like a book or a story. It may be used in sports news to evoke emotion in the readers. “As he makes his final run to the goal, the crowd lay in anticipation. It all boils down to this one moment, the sweat beads tickle his forehead and his ankles feel heavy.”

      3. Strong quote – This is where the article will open with a quote relevant to your content and usually from a relevant person who will be mentioned regularly in the article.

      4. Statement of fact – Opening with a fact such as “Unemployment levels in the UK have been reported to have risen by 12.1% this year due to the economy…..”

      5. Statement of opinion – Again mainly used in lifestyle and consumer magazines, this will be an opinion from the editors point of view “Apparently waiting times for flights is meant to be improving…”

      6. A question – “Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to create your own business, make your own money and be your own boss?” This entices the reader to read further to find out the answer.

      7. Drop intro’ - The introduction will build the reader up, not revealing anything, or maybe lead him to a different conclusion. And then there will be a twist.

      2. Second paragraph: The second paragraph is called the ‘Coat Hanger’ because, if done right, the rest of the feature should hang off it. The paragraph should tell you

      • Why the subject is important

      • Why your writing about it 

      • Why the reader should keep on reading

      • Provide facts

      • Reinforce the introduction

      3. Guidelines for the rest: 

      • Marshall your topics into a flowing sentence

      • If you go over your word count or it appears too long, make sure only relevant information for your angle.

      • Make a plan before and keep referring to it 

      • Don’t give away all the family silver at the beginning – leave some good information till the end, go out with a ‘bang’. It will keep your readers interested the whole way through

      • Keep hold of a juicy quote for the end of the piece

      Another great tip to make it more interesting to editors and readers is to break up the copy. This is mainly done by boxes and break outs around the text to provide more information in an ‘easy-on-the-eye’ way:

      • Pictures

      • Examples

      • Quotes (enlarged)

      • Facts

      • Case studies 

      • Boxes, bullet points, break outs to break up the narrative 

      • Timelines

      • Sound bites

      • Graphics e.g. Carbon emissions table

      • Do’s and Don’ts: Red and green traffic light approach.

      If you follow all these things you should have an extremely strong feature article that will stand out to an editor, and to readers, and will be unique among all the hundreds of articles that editor may receive that day!

    4. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)73

      1. Write your FAQs in simple, clear language.

      2. Be concise. I often apply the following rule of thumb once I’ve written my first draft of an answer: “How can I get this same message across while cutting the word count in half?

      3. Avoid using the passive tense. (It communicates a lack of ownership) Use crisp sentence structure, complete sentences and active tense verbs when you write FAQ’s.

      4. Have the material reviewed by your project team before sending anything out or posting it online – just to make sure the answers are accurate. It’s better to proactively seek a second opinion about your FAQ’s rather than waiting to hear through the rumor mill about mistakes or inaccuracies in your material.

      5. Get a neutral second opinion. I’ve had friends who are not on the project team review my FAQ’s by asking them “Will this make sense to an outsider?

      6. It may help to run your questions and answers by a few people from the impacted organizational units to get their candid feedback.  (Reviews like this also have the side benefit of building ownership for the material and the change itself.)

      7. Brainstorm with people from a few different plants, locations or work sites and see if new questions emerge that might need answering.

      8. Don’t try to answer every question you get with an FAQ – instead focus on the most common ones.  After all – a question is only an FAQ if it comes up frequently, right?

      9. It goes without saying that typos reduce the credibility of the writer and the message – so triple-check spelling and grammar.

      10. Finally, if you have a corporate communications department or legal counsel, you may want to let them look the information over to limit legal liability and verify adherence to internal communication standards.

      Here are some ways to communicate them:

      1. Post your FAQ’s electronically on your project website.

      2. Post printed copies on company bulletin boards in hallways, conference rooms, employee shared areas or break rooms.

      3. Take them with you on site visits and make sure that everyone involved in the project uses the exact same set of FAQ’s to ensure that everyone is “singing from the same sheet of music” when asked questions about the project.

      4. Finally, be sure to gather feedback on how they are received and update them as needed.

      Final Points: The use of Frequently Asked Questions can prevent a lot of communication issues and “filling in the blanks” by stakeholders, so it is recommended to use them whenever your organization rolls out a big change.  They are easy to write and usually cost next-to-nothing to distribute.

    5. News letter74

      • Research your subject first.

      • Interview the client about his/her business. Find out what's his or her most important message to communicate to clients.

      • At the end of any interview, always pose the question: Is there anything else you want to add? (You may be surprised by what you hear. When I interviewed Rupert Murdoch, I got the essence of the entire story by asking this open-ended question. He knew what message he wanted to convey far better than I.)

      • Decide on the name and frequency of your newsletter. Stick to them.

      • If you're the coordinator as well as the writer, work out a budget and a production schedule.

      • Draw up a table of contents for each issue.

      • Decide on a size, and how many articles can comfortably fit on a side.

      • Allow room for photographs and other visuals.

      • Vary the content to include different types of articles (news, features, editorial opinion, Q&A, letters to the editor, etc.)

      • Keep articles brief and language simple. If necessary, include a glossary.

      • Run items that won't be out of date in a month (or however long it takes to produce the newsletter).

      • Include tips, site info, a calendar of special events, how-to's, profiles of successes.

      • Provide a list of URLs where readers can find out more.

      • Promote your site's "Coming Attractions"

      • Build a "clip" file of information related to the subject that isn't particularly consumer-focused and use them to inspire ideas and as background information.

      • Golden Rule: A headline for every article, a caption for every picture.

      • Create a boilerplate paragraph (see part I) to include at the bottom of every issue that explains your newsletter's mission.

      • Encourage readers to send you (e)mail.

      • Create a contest.

      • Double-check your spelling and grammar. If you're weak in these areas, have someone else read the newsletter with an editor's eye before mailing it.

      • Carefully construct a mailing list. Keep it in good shape -- and work on expanding it. The more people who see your newsletter, the more business you'll get.

      • Print enough copies -- and use them as sales tools and leave-behinds as well as direct mail promotion.
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