This week, we completed a backgrounder and a fact sheet.
Backgrounders and fact sheets are two types of public relations writing that rely solely on research. These forms of writing provide facts, accurately and concisely.
We were asked to research the Tipton Children's Home for information for these two assignments, in addition to using the information we were previously given for the news release assignments. In doing so, I found writing the backgrounder extremely interesting. It was a task to add and cite information to the information I've already been given without including opinions. As Pritch says, backgrounders are "painstakingly accurate," which means they rely on fact and fact only (with the exception of experts' opinions). I can now pick up on how to keep statements such as "We do ___ well," or "We are successful in doing ____," out of my informational writing, as I practiced doing so in both of these assignments. The hard part about the fact sheet, for me, was keeping it to a one page limit. I know that PR professionals live by the acronym RPIE, which begins with "Research," so these assignments jive with my previous knowledge of what PR professionals should be able to do well. I see these skill sets helping me in the future when I'm asked to write a factual writing piece. Although people don't often jump up and down at the thought of doing research, writing a successful factual piece, such as a fact sheet or backgrounder, can be satisfying!