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FOUR KNIGHTS PRESS
Dan Baldwin - Novels, Short Stories & Non-Fiction

 

Effective Communications Tip of the Week

A Comment on Puff Pieces

 

Writers who product public relations materials for clients often face the challenge of drafting a news article or feature that has at least a snowball’s chance in hell of passing through the electronic Hades of a news editor’s desk. The editor’s desk/computer is loaded with articles and each one (to him) is of equal news value. Puff Pieces are among the first to make it to the round file or to experience the delete key. Positive Aspect stories at least have a fighting chance of making it in print or on screen.

 

A positive aspect article differs from a puff piece primarily in that the PA is written strictly according to standard journalistic style. It promotes only the positive side of the person or organization; it is a legitimate news story told in the traditional manner.

 

A puff piece jumps from straightforward reporting right into unabashed praise. The writers generally don’t follow an accepted stylebook. They often use first names throughout the piece. Unnecessary and inappropriate adverbs and adjectives are often tossed out like Mardi Gras throws from a parade float.

 

For example, a puff piece might read:

 

"Bob is a terrific boss and we can go in to see him with a problem any time. We think that's really cool."

 

A writer who wants the piece to have a lifespan beyond the editor’s, “Bah Humbug!” will follow appropriate style.

 

"Smith maintains a good rapport with his staff by managing the office with an open door policy."

 

Notice that the puff piece and the positive aspect piece say the same thing. The difference is that the latter will possibly see life in print. The first version will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

 

The difference is mostly a matter of style, although sometimes the puff piece will slip into

outright falsehoods. "Bob supports women's rights in the office place" is pretty hard to believe when everyone in the community knows he refers to his universally buxom female staff as "My little groupies."

 

The biggest problem with a puff piece is that it is so obvious. The editor knows his publication will suffer from a loss of credibility. The writer knows this, too. Sadly, Bob (the swell boss) often doesn’t. Unless his craving for puffery is held in check, ultimately he is the one whose puffed up bubble bursts the loudest.

 

Quote of the Week: “The devil’s boots don’t creak.” Scottish Proverb

Recommended Reading: The Chicago Manual of Style

Recommended Links:

www.ssa_az.org

www.ssa-vs.org

www.harveystanbrough.com

www.lwsliteraryservices.com

https://beelieveparanormal.wordpress.com/about

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  FINALIST - BEST BOOK AWARDS 2017 and NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS 2017

 

Why Would the Officers and Board of Directors Violate Their 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation Bylaws To Remove Board Members And What the Hell Does That Have to Do With Writing A Book on Psychic Detecting?

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     FINALIST - NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS COMPETITION 2017

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  WINNER - NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS COMPETITION

 

There is an adage, write about what you know, that guides successful authors. Dan Baldwin knows much about locating people, or their remains, in places not thought, in terrain unknown, and with clues provided by a group of volunteers who pool their psychic talents… Baldwin explains how psychic talents work and how they don't. A lot of misconceptions about "psychics" are dismissed with the hard-nosed reality of what such information is and is not. The cases are often sad, by reader's definition - long lost remains are finally located - but satisfying a family's closure to a missing loved one. In these accounts you follow the author from the invitation to the investigation, to assembling the team, to the information presented, and the actions based on the information.

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