Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead
Want to write a release that grabs reader attention?
Lead with the reader.
Here’s how to do it, modeling the lead from a Silver Anvil Award-winning release by the California Milk Advisory Board:
“Dairy farmers throughout California — the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state — will have an opportunity to learn the basics of cheese making in a comprehensive, one-day seminar being offered during February and March throughout the state. Sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board …”
Note that this release:
- Starts with the reader. “Dairy farmers throughout California …” See what happens when you begin your lead with the stakeholder, instead of with your organization’s or product’s name? You push the benefits toward the front of the lead.
- Follows up with the benefit. “… will have an opportunity to learn the basics of cheese making …” We still haven’t mentioned the organization or offering. Why? Because the reader benefit is more important.
- Only then introduces the product or service. “… a comprehensive, one-day seminar …” The product or service is best placed, as in this release, after the end-user and benefit. In fact, the second paragraph is high enough for the product name.
- Ends with the organization’s name. “Sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board …” Trust me, if someone cares about your release, they’ll get to your organization’s name. And journalists, bloggers and others are more likely to read or run the release when you focus on their audience members instead of on your organization and its stuff.
Notice how much more newsworthy and interesting this approach is than the traditional product announcement release, which is dated, formulaic and — let’s face it — dull.
Now you do it:
______________________________________ (Stakeholder) will soon be able to
______________________________________ (benefit) thanks to
______________________________________ (product or service) by