Burying the lede means that you’re taking the noteworthy part of the story and burying it somewhere in the middle of all the fluff. It’s essential for anyone in PR or journalism to never do this. The message of anything should be conveyed within the first few sentences.
So how do you make sure you’re not inadvertently burying the lede?
Make Your News the Focal Point
There’s an important point here because making your news the focal point sounds obvious, but it’s not. You’re not there to make your announcement the focal point, you’re there to make the newsworthy part the focal point.
Always ask the question: “Why should someone care about what I have to say?”
Make this the focus because that’s how you encourage people to keep reading past the first few sentences.
It’s logical to write in a chronological manner. But by doing so you may be burying the lede at the same time. The first part of your story should always be the most important part. You can give the background on the announcement later. For now, try to avoid writing in the logical manner you’re used to.
The top part of any story should be the part that people are interested in, regardless of the chronology.
But should you begin to tell the story later?
Absolutely! If you go back to a news story you’ll see that the lede at the top provides the most interesting part of the story. Following that the writer tells the story in full from start to finish. The difference is if someone gets to this part you know they’re interested in the subject in question.
Keep it Clean
Unless you’re writing for someone who wants an exciting story, your story should always be clear and concise. Read any newspaper article and you’ll see that the lede is the first part of the piece and it simply states the facts. Use this in your announcements.
Keep jargon out of the lede to avoid making your pitch or announcement cluttered. Any additional information should be revealed later, which is when you can begin to go into more detail.
One way to make sure you always do this is to put your piece to someone who doesn’t understand the industry. Anything put out to reporters should be readable by the average person. Remember that even the journalists reading an announcement don’t necessarily know the insider language.
Last Word – Making Your Publications Resonate
The main lesson you should take away from this is that clarity and putting the meat of the story at the top is what’s going to make your publications resonate. It does take practice and some active thought, but once you master it you’ll find that the right people give you a far better response.
Start making your publications so much better from day one. Practice the structure employed by professional journalists through dissecting their articles.