Posts Tagged ‘writing’

What the Media Wants: An Opinion Editor’s Opinion on Op-eds

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Op-eds are one of the most powerful and persuasive tools you can use to reach your audience. Opinion pages are widely read by community leaders, elected officials, and other key decision-makers. One of Dan’s professors, Renee Hobbs once said, “the editorial page is where civic leaders go to have a discussion.”

Furthermore, the opinion page is a forum for individuals to publish their opinions.  Contrary to what you might think, your local newspaper WANTS to hear from you.

That being said, opinion editors do receive a lot of submissions— sometimes thousands — in a single week. So, you want your piece to be unique.

Some tips are fairly straightforward: make sure your piece doesn’t have typos, always spell and grammar-check, and always present something thoughtful and professional. But opinion editors also look beyond these basics when considering a piece for publication that may be less obvious to the uninitiated op-ed author.

We conferred with a local opinion pages editor we have worked with over the years, and are sharing four key elements editors look for when reviewing pieces submitted by local voices, as well as links to example op-eds that embody each element.

3×3: Three Experts Answer Three Questions on Writing

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

3×3: Three Experts Answer Three Questions on Writing

Working in the communications field, writing— of emails, press releases, reports, memos, and pitches— becomes your bread and butter. Full Court Press sought out different approaches to writing, from experts in three different fields, to consider how writing differs in different industries, how young people can up their game and prepare for career success by improving their writing, and how we can continue to stay fresh and creative in our own approach to writing.


3x3 writing 2

Thanks to our experts:

Matthias Gafni, @mgafni

Matthias Gafni is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. He has reported and edited for Bay Area newspapers since he graduated from UC Davis, covering courts, crime, environment, science, child abuse, education, county and city government, and corruption.

Akilah Monifa, @Kiki_Thinks

Akilah Monifa is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder/Co-Publisher of ARISE 2.0, a digital global publication with news, issues, and opinions impacting the LGBTQ of color community and allies. She also is a contributor for The Huffington Post, Progressive Media Project, and Divorced Moms. She has published two e-books, both collections of her essays.

Dan Cohen, @dcstpaul

Dan is a veteran public relations, political communications and media strategist.He founded Full Court Press Communications in 2001 with a vision of providing public relations, public affairs and crisis counsel to companies, foundations and nonprofits who wish to use strategic communications to make social change.

My 5 Essential Writing Lessons from Stephen King

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in FCP Team, Stuff We Like

The following is written by FCP Communications Counselor Caitlin Scott.

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Whether it’s a press release, talking points, an opinion essay or a blog like this one – the written word is often our medium to provide information to clients and partners. Ostensibly, Full Court Press is a team of professional writers. And we constantly strive to grow, evolve and improve our writing skills.

A handful of years ago, I happened across Stephen King’s book “On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft” at Green Apple Books, a used bookstore in San Francisco. Intrigued, I pulled the book off the shelf and started to read. With the aforementioned goal to grow, evolve and improve my writing skills – I decided to purchase it and finish reading at home.

Fast forward to a few years later, and I often call on this this text’s wisdom when creating content for our clients. Prior to reading this book, I thought Stephen King’s expertise was limited to the supernatural and science fiction variety. But, who better to teach the master class on writing than a person who wrote 54 novels, six non-fiction books and more than 200 short stories?

The Power of a Teacher (from FCP Alum)

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

This is a piece we requested from FCP Alum Juan Martinez. He posted a nugget about this on Facebook after his recent graduation from Cal’s Journalism school with a Master’s degree.  Below, he shares the backstory behind this powerful quote:

“17 years ago, he handed my classmates and I a Xerox copy of his diploma from UC Berkeley. I still don’t know where I got the courage from and what came over me, but I looked him dead in his eyes, shook his hand and told him that one day I would get a degree from Cal and return the favor of handing him a copy of my diploma.”

FCP Alum Juan Martinez at graduation from Berkeley’s School of Journalism

What kind of thought leader are you?

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

[no title] 1982 by Sol LeWitt

[no title] 1982 by Sol LeWitt

The first in a series of occasional missives on Thought Leadership

What kind of thought leader are you?  What kind might you become? Five thought leaders weigh in with ideas.

I’m vexed.  I’m confused.  Over and over in 2014, we heard from clients, prospective clients, friends and business leaders that they wanted to become a thought leader. Can you “become” a thought leader?  Can you “emerge” or “evolve” into a thought leader?

I can assure you that hundreds of proposals from marketing and communications firms last year contained line items called “Thought Leadership Development” or something akin to that.  But what is it?  How can we deliver it?  How can YOU become one?

As always in these situations, I turned to the wisdom of my network.  I solicited answers to a dozen or so questions about thought leadership from people who can reasonably called thought leaders.  Occasionally through 2015, I hope to share their answers and muse on them. Ideally even generate some pieces like this in an attempt to help us all grapple with what thought leadership is and what it can mean to us as communications professionals and consumers of communications services.

Here are three very different answers to the question: