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Writing in Various Genres. Steve Cox and Neil Probst. The Alpha ... An Overview. ● The news release ... where it all starts. ● Getting local coverage. ● Contribute feature articles to CAP Volunteer . ● Various types of feature stories ● Electronic media ● Social media.

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Writing in Various Genres

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writing in various genres

Writing in Various Genres

Steve Cox and Neil Probst

the alpha an overview
The Alpha ... An Overview

● The news release ... where it all starts.

● Getting local coverage.

● Contribute feature articles to CAP Volunteer.

● Various types of feature stories

● Electronic media

● Social media

news releases
News releases
  • Your news release is the ideal starting point for your feature story.
  • It needs to contain many of the elements your feature will include:
  • Active voice
  • The main news
  • Additional facts
  • Additional details
types of stories
Types of Stories
  • Hard News Feature
  • A Feature Story Based on a News Event That Occurs
success stories
Success stories
  • Every wing has them.
  • A cadet becomes a governor, then senator.
novel approaches
Novel approaches
  • When a high-profile author includes CAP in his novel, that’s a great story.
  • In this instance, author Dale Brown included CAP cadets in his drama.
customer takes ride
Customer takes ride
  • Anytime the customer rides along, you’ve got a good story.
  • Here you add the added bonus of a really neat rare-bird tracking angle.
multi state efforts
Multi-state efforts
  • Anytime more than one wing is involved, you’ve got a story.
  • Yes, you won’t always have a famous aviator go missing, but part of the draw there as well was the many wings that teamed up.
when cadets save lives
When Cadets Save Lives
  • The three cadets pictured saved the life of a Canadian woman involved in a motorcycle accident.
  • Keep in eye on the efforts of your cadets; there’s hardly more positive news than they provide.
the story itself
The story itself
  • Pre-reporting (get to know your interviewees before you speak to them)
  • Saves time
  • Avoid “stupid” questions
  • Make deadline
  • Digital camera (Document the mission with photos of aircrew, customer, members in action)
  • Digital recorder (excellent for interviews)
multiple sources
Multiple Sources
  • Accuracy
  • Fairness
  • Give a true reflection of how special people are.
  • Better, more comprehensive viewpoint
  • No feelings hurt, especially when more than one wing involved
to quote or not to quote
To Quote or Not to Quote
  • Careful not to overuse
  • Keep brief
  • Use for drama, not for stating facts.
real people
“Real” People
  • Media’s way of saying interview those on the front lines, not just wing commanders and other high-level players.
  • Often cadets are your best source for a fresh, positive voice.
be a researcher
Be a Researcher
  • Additional sources for stories include online news media.
  • Add context, flavor to stories.
  • Details from news agencies show the larger picture of which CAP takes part.
keep eyes on the prize
Keep Eyes on the Prize
  • After your news release and submission to CAP News Online and/or the Volunteer, focus extra attention on local and national media.
  • This is your best avenue for telling the CAP story to an audience that may not know us.
  • In the process you’ll likely build a connection with local media that will last for many years.
the harvest
The Harvest

Montrose Daily Press carries full story on SAREX

CAP plane in Denver Post that spotted lost hikers

Steamboat Pilot & Today illustrates flooding story with CAP aerials

blog the new wave
Blog — The New Wave


  • Relaxed format
  • Can pack oodles of copy and photos in.
  • Additional element to story; for instance, you could write a feature story on IACE and include a blog link for those who want to enjoy particular experiences of cadets in different countries.

IACE takes cadets to Singapore. Their trip is documented at blog:


electronic media
Electronic Media


  • Wing web sites
  • Video productions
  • Multimedia and slide presentations
keep in touch
Keep in touch
  • Reach Steve at scox@capnhq.gov.
  • Reach Neil at nprobst@capnhq.gov.
  • Thank you. We look forward to helping you in any way we can.