December 6, 2012
Are you still cramming who, what, when, where, why and how into the first paragraph of your news release? Are you still married to the dated “XYZ Company today announced …” approach?
These conventional methods to release leads are formulaic, old-fashioned and — let’s face it — dull. They slow the story down, appear unsophisticated and are too stereotypical to stand out from the competition. Instead, consider these three more effective approaches.
Launching a new product or service? Focus on how it solves your customer’s problems instead of on the product or service itself:
X (users) who have struggled with Y (problem) will now be able to Z (benefit), thanks to A (product or service).
Here’s how it looks in action:
Commuters who now spend an hour each day driving from Sunrise Beach to Osage Beach will soon be able to make the trip in 15 minutes, thanks to a new bridge that ABC Company will build this summer.
Do you have news to report? Appeal to reader interest by leading with the two most interesting elements to readers:
Here’s how it works:
XYZ Corp. volunteers will plant 77 trees at Encore Park on Sunday. That means the park, located in an area hit hard by drought, will have trees that help reduce runoff, absorb rainfall and retain water.
Feature leads attract readers by illustrating your key message instead of just stating it. Feature lead approaches include:
Whichever method you use, write a lead that appeals to readers’ self interest or that makes your story interesting.
Copyright © 2012 Ann Wylie. All rights reserved.
Ann Wylie works with communicators who want to reach more readers and with organizations that want to get the word out. To learn more about her training, consulting or writing and editing services, contact her at ann@WylieComm.com. Get free writing tips at: FreeWritingTips.wyliecomm.com. Get more than 2,000 writing tipsheets at RevUpReadership.com.
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