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A#3 Background Blog

Wall Street Journal Formula

To follow the Wall Street Journal formula, I began with a soft anecdotal lead, focusing on Donald Kramer. This lead focuses on why this article is important. The body of my article is arranged topically, according to different sections of Dr. Kramer’s life. I provide backup information in the body that support my lead and nut graph.The ending coems full cirlce by using a circle kicker that references the begining of my article.

Coaching Tips Followed:

  • Check social media (in my case, Facebook) for background
  • Plan an order for your story; consider organizing it by topics or time frames (I organized my story chronologically)


    Goal– Dr. Kramer’s original goal was to become an oncologist, however he changed this goal to become an anesthesiologist, and to eventually start his own healthcare company and earn his MBA degree

    Obstacles– Dr. Kramer’s father died when he was 14 years old, forcing him and his family to survive off of social security welfare.

    Achievements– Graduated from medical school, had residencies at Stanford and Harvard, became an anesthesiologitst, opened his own healthcare company (NorthStar), earned his MBA degree, took his healthcare company public

    Logistics– Went to a medical program his junior year that inspired him to become a doctor, his mentor assumed a fatherly figure and advised him on decisions

    Tips from Alan Richman and Julie Sullivan

    1. Ask friends and family of interview subject about questions to avoid or questions to ask

    2. Ask the interviewee a question he/she will like

    3. Everybody has a good story to tell

    How Interviews were conducted 

    To conduct this interview, I called Dr. Kramer and asked if he would help me with this assignment and agree to an interview. He said yes, and we had our first interview then. I then sent him follow up questions via email a few days later.

    Research/listen/note-taking/interview techniques used

    – Check the internet for information about your topic

    – Check the credibility of websites before you use information from them

    – Mark or highlight important quotes or facts you plan to use in the story

    – Ask follow up questions

    Ideas Generated for Storyboard 

    During the writing and reporting process ideas I thought of for my storyboard include: a picture of Dr. Kramer with a caption, a soundbite of our interview, a timeline of his life milestones and accomplishments, a link to NorthStar (his healthcare company), a video of Dr. Kramer explaining how he reached his success, survey question to promote user interaction and bullet list of advice Dr. Kramer has for college-aged students pursuing their dreams



Think Piece

Using social media improves job search

SEO: Social media improves job search

Social media sites to improve job search: Mashable

Mashable is an internet blog that highlights social media news. Mashable helps users identify social media trends in the work-force, and how to use them to their advantage.

Mashable features the article, “Why you should keep your Facebook and your job search separate,” to help viewers improve and protect their personal social networking pages during their job search process.

Main tips: keep your Facebook and Twitter accounts private and appear well-rounded and professional on your profile page.

Media Bistro

Media Bistro in an internet blog for journalists and related professionals that lists job openings and employment tips for users.

Media Bistro TV posts YouTube videos of elevator pitches, where employers listen to pitches from companies or prospective employees on why employers should buy their product or hire them as an employee.

From watching a pitch, I learned that in 30 seconds you need to make a positive impression and explain the most important selling points.

Do not: talk too fast or use technical words during your elevator pitch!

Social Media Today

Social Media Today is a website designed for professionals in marketing, PR, and advertising to gain insight on social networking in the work-force.

A featured article, “7 ways to find a job using social media,” informs viewers how to positively use online social media during their job hunt.

Tips: follow prospective employers on social media, set up alternative personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, engage with potential employers using social media, and monitor your online reputation

Slice of Kasey Forte’s life


Comparing interview techniques:

1. Face-to-face. PROS: facial expressions, tone of voice. CONS- find convenient time.

2. Phone. PROS: convenient. CONS-no body language

3. Recording. PROS: able to refer to conversation

Kasey and I had the same interviewing style. We recorded our face-to-face interviews and took notes.

Post interview follow-up questions:

1. How many members in Sigma Kappa?

2. When is next opportunity for students to rush?

3. Favorite part of rush?

4.  What would your life be like had you not rushed?

Style Challenges

I referred to the AP stylebook and The Diamondback style guide. I used the Rich textbook for leads, nut grafs, and endings. The Lead Lab for examples of leads.

I used Poynter’s writing tools 10, 11 and 23.

  • Writer tool 10- Cut big then small. Start very general then become specific.EX)  “After rounds of rushing, Forte. . . received bid. . . She . . .  began [her] new member period, when [she] learned the history. . . of Sigma Kappa.”- Started broad by explaining how Kasey rushed multiple houses. Became more specific saying she chose Sigma Kappa. Even more specific when saying she began her new member period.- Writer tool 11- Use shorter words at points of complexity

– Instead of  “new member class” I wrote “pledge class”. I used “new member period” instead of “new member education period”.

  • Writer tool 23- Read drafts aloud

–       I read my drafts aloud to check for wordiness, clarity, and pacing.


I referenced chapter 8 from the Rich textbook while writing my story to find how to end my story. I used a quote kicker ending.  I referred to the Lead Lab workshop to help me craft my lead. I chose a descriptive lead. I used Poynter’s writing tools worksheet to help me write my story. I also read the Tips worksheet on this assignment.

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