By Shehara Alahakoon
Not so long ago, the job role of a writer was limited to obtaining information on a business or product or an event and write on the specific subject. However, this has changed over the course and today they are not mere writers but content creators or rather, story tellers.
Today, the business editors in publications are not looking at articles to publish on their newspapers or online publications. That is not what their readers / viewers are looking for. Some businesses wonder why their ‘articles’ are not published on newspapers. The simple answer (in most cases), in my honest opinion is that, the editors believe that such ‘articles’ do not attract viewers / readers which is the ultimate goal of an editor – attracting profitable audiences.
As a PR professional, I firmly believe that any ‘article’ can have a human touch on to it thereby making it a ‘story’ and enabling the audiences to actively engage or make it an interesting read to all parties concerned. Most editors expect businesses to tell a story through their content – also known as creative story telling. The stories need to be eye catching and interesting to read while also ensuring that they are meaningful and of use to the target audience, basically – newsworthy.
Impact creating goes hand in hand with storytelling. When writing a story for any business, today’s content writers also need to consider the level of positive impact made on the target audiences via the stories. This gives the content a ‘hook’. Without such a hook, it will fail to engage with the audience and become just another ‘scrolled through’.
This leads me to an important angle of content creation – the financials. One may wonder how a story on Company financials be of creating an impact on or considered newsworthy by the general public. They definitely create an impact on the consumers, industry bodies and, current and potential investors among the other target audiences. However, unless these financial stories are written in a manner to highlight the impact made on each of the target audiences, these may go unread or simply considered ‘boring’. These stories should not be solely revolved around numbers but also consider how these numbers have or will eventually make an impact on all stakeholders.
Another area which most businesses fall through is the headline. No matter how good the story is written, if the headline is not eye catching, that gives a chance of 50% for the audience to just scroll through or turn the page over. The headline needs to tell a story on its own little way. Long headlines with a lot of jargon may just not be the right headline for your right story.
To concise this thought process in to one line – unless stories are newsworthy, creatively written with an emotional touch and has a positive impact on the reader, they are mere articles and may not attract the audience the business intend to.
By Shehara Alahakoon