The 50th anniversary of the Wellington School of Journalism is coming up and as part of the celebration an online archive has been published with photos, reminiscences, and a copy of the School’s community newspaper for almost every year since 1966.
Curious I checked out the selected issue of my year and was surprised to find it featured my name as a byline (one of three authors) on an article about unemployment and skills shortage in Wellington. So many years on I have no recall of investigating, writing or setting that paper but I am sure as an 18 year old student, the thrill of seeing my name in print would have been real.
A number of decades on, my professional pride rests, not in seeing my name in lights, but seeing those of our clients; their stories of success, their key messages communicated via the best mediums to reach their audiences. If a media release we’ve created is picked up and run verbatim or a journalist has had their interest piqued to investigate further and create their own story, then that’s the thrill. Likewise, if a story goes viral digitally (or at least gets strong interest) then we’ve done our job well.
Looking back on that old newspaper and the contents, it’s interesting to reflect on what’s changed. Not surprisingly the language is less formal now; sentences run on more. There’s probably more creative license allowed in how information within a release is communicated, more personality and greater entertainment flair.
What hasn’t changed though, is the need for structure (even if the reader doesn’t perceive it as so). An impactful introduction to grab the reader’s attention but that sets out the key information so if only this is read, the key message/s are gleaned. And with a view to be interesting enough to keep the reader, listener, viewer engrossed and wanting to stay engaged to learn more through an organised flow that leads logically from one point to the next.
While there may be less punctuation these days, it’s still important that there’s sufficient for the audience to make sense of the story. And of course, it’s never ‘old school’ to have correct spelling!
If you’ve got a story that you want to share via the media, give us a call. Our job is to get your name out there.
Written by Dale Cowie