A Reason to Read the News? How the Press Can Improve Your Copy

04 Oct 2018

Published in: Miscellaneous

Reading the news nowadays can be quite the ordeal. But if you put your objective and analytical hat on, you can totally get something positive out of it.

Journalists require wordy and narrative skill in order to craft factual (and sometimes not so factual) news stories. When we analyse how press writers portray ideas and use language to get information across, we can learn some important lessons about copywriting and persuasion.

Make an Effort with Your Headline

When you look at a newspaper, what are the first words that jump out at you? The headlines! Headlines need to instil interest - the ultimate goal is basically to have the reader pay attention and buy the paper; not a million miles away from copywriting.

In order to grab attention, you need to lead with the most pressing, useful, or tantalising part of what you're saying with the piece of text. What's your main value proposition? What's the main thrust of your blog post? The most enticing part of what you're trying to convey needs to feature in your headline.

Be Aware of Your Narrative

In a news story, the lede is an opening statement that gives you the lowdown on what's being said.

The lede puts the main points front and centre, but "burying the lede" is where the main point of the article isn't revealed until later on. Especially when reading a longer news story, tune yourself in to how and where writers drip feed the information throughout the text.

Both copywriters and journalists pay attention to how information flows around a piece of writing and how the reveal of information is paced throughout. Observe how writers pace the information for maximum impact.

Assumptive Writing Styles and Persuasion

We all know that newspapers spin the truth to suit their own worldview. You may sometimes notice that journalists write in a way that assumes that the reader agrees with them.

As a business, your own "spin" is basically to get people to work with you and choose you over your competitors. You can use assumptive styles in copy by writing in a way that makes it seem like working together is already a done deal, e.g., "when we work together, you will enjoy…".

For more about how reading the news can make you a better copywriter, check out the full blog post on the Obsidian website. And if you need copy or content writing services, get in touch with Obsidian today!


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