Tracking the journey of PRCA 3330

TOW8- Learning About Leads in the Lead Lab

Posted on: September 29, 2010

Once again, I am impressed with a NewsU Course. The Lead Lab learning course clarified some lingering questions that I had about writing leads. As a third year student, I’ve taken my introductory classes for both PR and Journalism and I’m into upper level classes. The specific details provided by the lead lab course refreshed my memory on lead writing and gave me new ideas about how to make my leads better.

The two kinds of direct leads- summary and analysis are pretty straight forward. These are the kinds that I use most frequently in PR writing. They grab the reader’s attention but get to the point quickly. The main point is simply to tell the news.

The area that I learned the most about was delayed leads. Delayed leads are different because they appeal to the human aspect of the news and use the 7 hotspots. There are 4 types of delayed lead- anecdotal, significant detail, emblem, and round-up. Of those I found emblem and round-up to be the most interesting to learn about. An emblem lead uses a single instance/individual to illustrate the subject. A round-up lead uses illustrations to demonstrate a trend.

I also found the section on the 7 hotspots really interesting. Typically, I’ve learned about the 5 Ws so it was different to see 7 used here. The traditional 5- who, what, when, where, why, were all used but how and so what were added. I really like the “so what” aspect. I feel like it reminds the author to make the story relatable to the individual. By asking yourself “so what”, you keep the reader from doing the same thing.

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