When you go to write your next blog post, start with the ending first.
This was one of the key takeaways from this week’s lesson content on digital storytelling, and how to be a more compelling and creative writer. In addition to strong style and attention to detail for grammar and spelling, knowing not to bury the lead is critical to encouraging your audience to dive a little deeper into your post.
This was a lesson I recently learned when authoring an article on the need for Canada’s conservatives to start paying more attention to millennials. While it was not the first time I had written, it was the first time I had hoped to be published – and it involved a major change in style from how I would typically write.
Writing for an audience – particularly one online – forces you to constantly be thinking of your elevator pitch.
A short story with a strong hook is the same tactic we use for our clients who are looking to engage with government and motivate them to act. Like readers online, parliamentarians are busy people. In turn we often ask our clients: What do you want MPs to remember after you’ve left their office? How do you want them to act?
Motivating action can only happen through a good story, told quickly, effectively and with credibility. Some writers and publications do this very well; Vice and Buzzfeed News come to mind as sources that have created interesting content without burying the lead. Interesting pictures and infographics also make their content more sharable than that of other traditional media organizations.
Which outlets or columnists do you think use this “inverted triangle” approach to communications best? How do you feel the inverted triangle could be improved (do we really need numbered lists for every article?).