August 19, 2017

Don’t make readers dig through dense type

Use bullets in news releases

Why make us work so hard? kvetch journalists surveyed for a 2014 study by Greentarget.

Don’t make readers dig through dense type

Where’s the story? Don’t make reporters work too hard to get your message. Image by popofatticus

These folks are frustrated that they’re too often forced to hunt through long rivers of gray text to find the news. No wonder more than half of them said they’d find it helpful to have a bulleted list of key facts in a release. And more than one-third more were open to the idea.

Skimmable press release image

Faster than a speeding bullet Bullets, bold-faced lead-ins, subheads and links make this release, by Edelman for the American Egg Board, faster and easier to skim.

So give reporters what they want: Add bullets. While you’re at it, why not add subheads, bold-faced lead-ins, callouts and other display copy to make it easy for reporters and others to scan your release?

Pass The Skim Test.

Pass The Palm Test.

  • Think Like a Reporter

    Some 55% to 97% of news releases never get picked up, write Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.

    So how can you create PR pieces that are among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?

    NOT Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing Master Class in Chicago At NOT Your Father's PR Piece — a two-day PR-writing Master Class on May 18-19 in Chicago — you’ll learn how to think like a reporter to develop story angles that readers want to read (and that journalists and bloggers want to run).

    Specifically, you'll learn how to:

    • Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead: You’ll leave with formulas and recipes for crafting leads that sell the story and stand out from the crowd.
    • Move from event to impact: Learn simple steps for transforming your event, speech or meeting coverage into news readers can use to live their lives better.
    • Create two types of stories media outlets want more of (and avoid one they wish they’d never see again!)
    • Go beyond “new and improved” to information readers really want to know about your product.
    • Steal secrets from Silver Anvil winners: What do nationally award-winning PR writers do that you don’t do?

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for NOT Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing Master Class in Chicago

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

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2 Responses to “Don’t make readers dig through dense type”
  1. Ines Pljakic says:

    Ann, I think a bulleted list of key facts in a release is the most important factor in order for customers to find the release useful! If they opened it, they know what they are looking for and it sure should be easy for them to find it!

  2. annwylie says:

    I agree that the list was a great improvement!

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