A couple of my recent blogs have focused on feature writing as a great way for average citizens to jump in and explore the world of citizen journalism or user-generated content.
I’ve suggested that features are an easier way for newcomers to get started than hard news, and I’ve offered a few helpful hints along the way.
Today, I’m presenting two examples of features I have written to generate interest in two community events. In both of these stories, the news peg was the upcoming event. But rather than writing a news brief that only states the time, location and date, I generated interested by focusing on an individual who would be at the event.
One feature was designed to inform folks about a travel photography class. For that piece, I wrote about the photographer who was giving the class, his background and his travels. That way, interested people would know the instructor’s credentials and want to sign up for the class.
The other article featured an artist who turned insects and butterflies into magnificent pieces of art. This was an easy one. My obvious first question was: Why would someone want to play with insects and bugs for a living?
This incredibly creative woman was just one of the artists who would be at an upcoming show. So again, the news angle was the show.
Both of these features generated a significant amount of interest in the events. The photography class was filled to capacity and the insect artist’s booth saw incredible traffic during the two-day art show.
Susan Cormier is the head coach in charge of training at the National Association of Citizen Journalists (http://www.nacj.us/) and co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/).