Stop writing 103-word leads
Are you still smooshing all of the W’s into the first paragraph of your press release?
“If the copy doesn’t excite me within 20 words,” says one editor, “I won’t read the rest of it.”
You’d think PR pros would have noticed that the media outlets they wish to get published in write short, snappy leads.
Here, for example, is an 8-word lead by The New York Times:
Russia has a new enemy: the currency markets.
And here’s a 103-word news release lead:
Which would you rather read?
Your news vs. creation of the universe …
But don’t ask me. Ask the media.
“‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,’” says John McIntyre, copy desk chief, Baltimore Sun. “The creation of the universe has a 10-word lead!
“So why do you need 40 words to say that your chief accountant has just completed the necessary certification? The answer, of course, is you don’t.”
Are you ready to make journalists love you?
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