When it comes to creating content that grabs the attention of readers, newsrooms reign supreme.
Having initially worked in newsrooms and subsequently in marketing departments, I’ve picked up on a few best practices I’ve brought over to the corporate side when creating written content.
In the world of print journalism, every article follows a well-defined structure to deliver information effectively. From the attention-grabbing lede to the informative nutgraf and the engaging body, news articles aim to engage readers from start to finish.
While this structure is essential in journalism, its value extends beyond newsrooms. Whether you work in marketing, PR, communications or you’re simply interested in creating written content that grabs the attention of readers, Here are a few elements of news-story writing you can add to your content toolkit.
The Lede: Grabbing The Reader’s Attention
The lede, also known as the opening paragraph, serves a crucial purpose in news articles. Its primary function is to grab the reader's attention and entice them to keep reading. Content marketers can leverage this technique by crafting attention-grabbing ledes for their blog posts. Whether it's a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a compelling anecdote, a strong lede immediately captivates the audience, encouraging them to engage further with the content. By adopting this approach, content marketers can create an instant connection with their readers and increase the chances of their content being consumed and shared.
The Nutgraf: Establishing Your Story’s Essence
Following the lede, news articles often feature a nutgraf, which provides a concise summary of the article's main points. Content marketers can incorporate this element by presenting a clear and concise overview of their content early on. By establishing the essence of the content upfront, marketers can give readers a glimpse of what they can expect, enticing them to continue reading or exploring further. The nutgraf acts as a roadmap, guiding the audience through the content and setting the stage for the key takeaways. This approach helps content marketers deliver value quickly and efficiently, respecting their audience's time and capturing their interest.
The Body: Engaging and Informative
The body of a news article delves into the details, providing information, evidence, and context. Similarly, content marketers can create engaging and informative bodies for their content pieces. By organizing their ideas logically and presenting information in a structured manner, marketers can keep their audience engaged and ensure the content is easy to follow. Incorporating relevant examples, statistics, and expert opinions adds credibility and depth to the content, enhancing its value for the readers. A well-structured body ensures that content marketers can effectively communicate their message, educate their audience, and position themselves as knowledgeable industry leaders.
The Kicker: Closing With An Impact
The conclusion of a news article ties the narrative together, leaving a lasting impact on the reader. Content marketers can adopt this strategy by providing a concise and memorable ending to their content pieces. The conclusion should summarize the key points, reinforce the main message, and encourage the audience to take action. By leaving readers with a clear call-to-action or thought-provoking statement, content marketers can elicit a response, whether it's sharing the content, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase. A compelling conclusion helps solidify the content's impact and prompts readers to engage further with the brand.
The structured approach of news article storytelling provides content marketers with a powerful framework to captivate and engage their audience. By incorporating attention-grabbing ledes, informative nutgrafs, engaging bodies, and impactful kickers, marketers can create content that resonates and drives meaningful interactions. Embracing the news story structure allows content marketers to deliver valuable information effectively, establish credibility, and ultimately build lasting relationships with their audience. So, grab the newsroom playbook and infuse it into your marketing departments.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.