Another form of press work, (Feature Articles) often of lasting value, is the exclusive signed feature article which may be produced by a staff writer to whom facilities have been provided, or written by a PR practitioner, If written by the PRO or PR consultant articles should not be produced speculatively, Feature Articles The idea should be offered to the editor of a suitable journal, and the editor should be asked the following questions:
- . Does he like this idea?
- . If so, how many words would he like?
- . Does he require illustrations and if so what kind and how many?
- . When is he likely to publish the article?
- . When does he want copy?
- All this can be set out in a letter, There is no need to buy the editor an expensive lunch or drown him in gin.
Once the editor has ‘commissioned’ the article-which will be supplied ‘without fee’ the writer must honour the agreement and keep to the agreed deadline or copy date, (Feature Articles )The value of the article may be perpetuated by buying reprints from the publisher.
The Feature Articles PR practitioner often knows of article material which is unknown to editors and can offer a valuable press relations service of mutual benefit to the editor and to the sponsoring organisation, Such articles should be published on their merits, and do not need supporting advertising unless, and only unless, an advertisement can offer some additional information such as a coupon offer of a catalogue but normally one should not be blackmailed into buying needless advertisement space. Such advertisements can be refused on the grounds that they Feature Articles are irrelevant to the planned advertising campaign. Advertisement managers will, of course, try to sell space to firms which are mentioned in the editorial, but it is really zealous salesmanship taken to the point of shortsightedness. A good feature article should be independent of advertising.
It is quite Feature Articles likely that the magazines and newspapers, in which PR stories, pictures and articles appear will be entirely different from those on the advertising media schedule, Feature Articles For example, a clock manufacturer may advertise in popular national newspapers which seldom print his news releases, but the news releases may well be accepted by women’s magazines in which he never advertises Feature Articles.