How to Keep Your Reader Engaged

How to Keep Your Reader Engaged

Written by Shelby Deffterios and Nicole Salcido, account executives for the Lola’s Fruit Shrubs account team.

Ever wonder why Buzzfeed and Snapchat articles always keep you laughing and interested? People have very busy schedules, so one of the best ways for news outlets to keep their audiences engaged is through a series post. Buzzfeed is one online media outlet that has channeled this style of writing, and others are following.

Create a successful series post with these five easy steps:

  1. Narrow down the topic and choose no more than 10 key messages.

Nobody has the time or patience to read a lengthy article anymore. Many people just want the highlights, so by choosing the important parts of the story, readers can understand the point without all the details.

  1. Organize the 10 key messages into a story with a beginning, middle and end.

Picking out the key details to the story is important, but if not structured properly, the writer can lose the audience quickly. You want the reader to make it to the end of the article, so catch the reader at the beginning and continue that tone throughout. This way, even through key messages, the reader has something to look forward to as they are reading.

  1. Plug in details and facts that add substance to the key messages.

Under each key message, the writer can add in the details and facts that some may find interesting. This way the reader can decide whether they want more information, and the people who don’t can easily skim over it.

  1. Add in elements of artwork.

With social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, companies have just a short amount of time to grasp their potential consumers’ attention. Magazine companies like Cosmopolitan, People, and Buzzfeed have created short Snapchat feeds for viewers to spend a few minutes looking at per day. These stories must be visually appealing, or they could lose the reader within seconds.

  1. Use appropriate humor.

Depending on your media outlet, humor is a great way to keep readers engaged. It gives them a reason to remember your article or story and makes them continue to think about it long after reading. Keep in mind that language is frequently something readers don’t agree on so “better to be safe than sorry” in that area. Also be aware of where your article will be published. If it’s a blog, or a creative publication, then there is a little more legroom with slang or humor. But if you’re writing for a newspaper or political journal, jokes aren’t always well received.

Additional tricks and tips to writing a series post can be found on Buzzfeed. This shows the importance to catching the audience’s attention. As social media continues to grow and become one of the main resources utilized by public relations professionals, staying up to date on the ever-changing platforms is increasingly important. There are so many components to successfully reaching an audience!

 

Shelby Deffterios and Nicole Salcido are seniors at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Both are seeking a Bachelors of Science in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and are currently working as account executives at Allen Hall Public Relations. Nicole and Shelby are die hard Duck fans with a passion to attend all home and away football games. They both love watching Friday Night Lights and hope to continue practicing public relations in San Francisco after graduation.

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