The key to getting noticed by a journalist is having a good lede (also known as a lead) in your press releases. Without it, a reporter won’t read on, and often that means your news release won’t be used.
But there are certain rules you can follow to ensure you’ve made your lede lead.
Follow these guidelines and expect to grab the attention of more readers and expand your audience!
The lead sentence should include the most important information in less than 25 words. You want to make sure that your lead is merely a summary of what the article will include. If the lead is too long, it begins to resemble the beginning of a story instead of a short description of your article.
Don’t guess that your reader will know what you’re talking about from the headline. Although many readers may grasp the article’s content from the headline, there are still those who may need a more detailed explanation of what your piece is about.
There should be no advertising or propaganda in the lead. Any extra exaggeration in the lead just adds unnecessary length and you could lose your reader.
The lead paragraph should include the who, what, when, where and how of the story. Once you answer the main questions of who’s involved, what the event is, and when, where and how it will occur, you’ll have everything you need to write the rest of the article.
The lead needs to be bold so that it is communicated to your audience effectively. The importance in communicating your message in the lead boldly is to draw the interest of the reader and make them feel like they have enough information about the article even if they only read the lead. The key is to make them want to read the rest of your article by catching their attention early on.
When it comes to word usage, less is more. The best thing you can do to communicate effectively is cut down the jargon. If your message is hidden behind a lot of complicated terminology, you run the risk of losing your reader’s interest. Putting your information in simple terms is more successful in getting your message across than utilizing complex words, phrases and inner-circle jargon.