How to Write an Effective Lead....

Written by publicrelations  |  30. January 2001

Whether you are writing a direct mail letter, pitch letter to the media, press release, media alert or feature story, the lead is the most important part of the story. If the reader's attention is not captured in the first paragraph, then he/she will never read beyond. Listed are several types of leads: * Ask a question * Highlight something free * Make an announcement (press release) * Tell a story * Identify the reader's problem * Use a quote, news item or statistic * Stress a benefit * Let the reader in on a secret For a direct mail letter, there are several things to think about: * Who should sign the letter? * How should it be written? * Should the letter be personal? And if so, why not use the person's name in the copy. * Try this approach -- why not tell the reader that you understand his/her needs because you have a similar problem or concern. Helpful tip: Write simply and clearly. If you have been using a particular style, use a new approach. Notice if your results are different. If it is more effective... stay with it!!!

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