Help Desk | Turn Your Opinion into a Feature Article

421px-Fist4Opinions are like a heart; everybody has one.

If you think about it, you probably have an opinion on everything. This is a good thing if you’re responsible for producing content. It means you’ll never run out of ideas. So let’s get to the heart of the matter and turn those opinions into features.

Step 1: Know the difference between a subject and a topic.

Subject: branch of knowledge; discipline or field

Topic: specific aspect of the subject

Step 2: Pick a subject (provocative is better). We’ll use Climate Change.

Step 3: Think about topics that fall under the category “climate change.” Choose one.

I was thinking about the sea level this morning during my workout. Let’s use “rising sea level” as an angle for our article.

Step 4. Write a Headline:

More than 20 American cities will be under water by the turn of the century.

Step 5: You or your designee report on this story; therefore, you must remain unbiased. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re brain dead. It just means you need to examine and present at least two sides (pro/con) of the topic.

Bonus: If there is someone, product, or company you’d like to feature in your article, here’s the chance to let them/it shine.

Who: is at risk?

What: is at stake?

Where: will be the hardest hit?

When: will we see evidence?

How: will it happen?

Once you’ve answered the questions above via your “newsmakers,”

Final step: Edit your article to 750 words. Most people read on mobile devices. Make brevity your friend. Wrap up the piece with an unbiased course of action related to the headline. A sentence or two such as:

“Sea-level may not rise more than a few inches in our lifetime but the threat of flooding is a real risk for anyone living near water. Here’s how to prepare…

Voila! You now have editorial content, also known as a feature article.

You’ve also won some extra points for featuring two of your favorite clients who both have written books “Climate Change: What a Bunch of Malarkey” and “Climate Change: How to Build an Ark.”

copyright 2016 MH