Good news stories are always potential leads and it might be a good idea to have a letter template for your business so that you can learn how to write one too.
Here are the 11 best tips on how to write a good news business lead.
1) Keep it short and at the point: it is about “good” news, not “cheap” or “great”.
Getting the good news across is the key to a good news lead. Your letter needs to be succinct without being boring or staid. You want to put across the message in a positive manner.
2) Be positive
Use phrases such as “positive development”, “opportunity”, and “bright prospect”. Avoid negative phrases such as “no need” and “nothing is needed”.
Obviously being a good news letter you should inflect by using such phrases as “good news” and “positively”. Not only that but you shouldn’t be negative. If your business is being negatively portrayed in the media, that is the kind of news that will hurt your business.
3) Write as though you are a journalist looking for a story and as though you are writing to an editor in chief in a newspaper or journal.
This is why you need a good news letter—because the lead is like journalism.
4) Sell yourself
It is important to be positive about yourself. But don’t be negative towards the competition either. Avoid writing “it can’t be done better” or “you can’t beat us”. Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that the rest of your competitors are not as good or better. Be realistic, but positive.
5) Use the active voice.
The active voice is important. It is important because it is more concise and therefore more effective when it comes to the “point” you are trying to make. Here’s how I put it:
The lead I am writing on this occasion is for a business which specialises in making clothes so that people can be clothed.
By using the active voice, we avoid having to use all those nouns and verbs that are often used in passive voice sentences, such as “made” and “were made”, “are made”, etc. We could say that people “are clothed” by the clothes made by the business in question.
6) Use actual numbers
There is no need to round up a number. For example, don’t write “3%” or “over two”. Instead, write down the number in actual terms: “three” and “twenty” respectively. The same applies to percentages. Don’t just say that your business has increased its market share by a certain percentage; state the actual percentage. For example, if your market share is 15% and is has increased to 20% for this quarter, then write it down as such: 20%.
7) Don’t just use the passive voice for the sake of it.
You’ll notice that I only used the active voice for point 5 when I was giving examples. This is because sometimes, especially in passive voice sentences, you can be more concise without seeming like you are just making up words for no reason. Be aware of this and act accordingly.
8) Avoid “too long” and “too short”
Avoid writing a letter that is too long or too short. Remember that you want to make a good news lead as these are letters that potential clients will read, not the whole of your business. So be concise and keep it to the top points of what you want to say. If necessary, have several instalments of your letter so that it doesn’t seem disjointed or out of place.
9) Keep it professional
Here’s another point about the tone that you should try to maintain: Always be professional. Remember that your letter is not a personal letter and that your request to meet is being made to potential clients, not friends.
If you are writing it for yourself or a friend, write it in a way that it can be easily read as such. Don’t use whole sentences mixed up with emojis and speak like a person. This is not a personal letter and the person you are writing to will see right through it.
10) Don’t relate to your “client” as though he or she were just “you”.
We want these letters to be read by people, but not only that, we also need to keep in mind that they are viewed by potential clients. As such, we should always write these letters as if they are being written by someone else. We should keep in mind that if we say “you” rather than “we”, then the person we are addressing will form a more professional opinion of us.
Again, it’s because the letter is not personal. You should avoid writing as though you are writing to your friend or to someone with who you would personally like to meet or have business. Write in a professional manner and keep the tone professional.
11) Look at any good news journalism you may have ever read for ideas.
There are no two ways about it: The way you write a news business lead is like journalistic writing. If you’re familiar with journalism, then you can probably see what the similarities are between letters such as these and political speeches, which are also very much like news business leads.
So if you know a little about journalism, then this might help to give some ideas of how much to stick to and how much to change from the above points.
12) Let the lead be your pitch
The only thing that you need to do when it comes to writing news business leads is to think of what your “pitch” or presentation is. As I say, if you have done a lot of work in the environmental sector as well as more traditional areas such as clothing manufacturing, then your lead could be a bit more different. If that’s the case, then try to think of how that differs from what you would normally do.
I hope that I have helped you to write a good news letter like the one that I used as an example in this article. Stick to the steps above and you will no doubt come out with a very good lead. Remember that even if you want to increase your market share, it is important to be positive about yourself and your business.
If you need any more help, check out our blog where there are lots of other articles. If you want me to write a new article in a particular area or on any specific topic, send me an email via my contact page.