Five Things I Learned Writing for a Newspaper

November 12, 2020

Before joining the A/E/C industries, I was a journalist for a local newspaper. The slow death of print news saddens me, particularly when considering everything being a newspaper writer taught me.

If you’ve never had the privilege of this experience but rely on the written word in your job, I share five takeaways related to my current position as a marketing manager in the construction industry. For those who cut their teeth in the newspaper business, this article stands as a reminder that what you learned on the job is still relevant.

Put first things first. The inverted pyramid style of writing is a staple of the newspaper industry. All articles consist of the lead (the most important information), the body (supporting details), and the tail (interesting but not necessary content).

While some believe this is an unnatural way to engage in storytelling, it serves one primary purpose—distilling a story down to its most essential information. Newspaper editors use this form of editing for the same reason marketers do in a proposal—space constraints. The dreaded page count and minimum font size have sent many of us back to the proverbial drawing board. Once you identify the crucial information in the piece, you can confidently and efficiently cut extraneous content.

To read more, download the full article.

 

Article, written by Leslie Panfil, first appeared in the Marketer journal.