Catch a reader

Focus on the reader’s needs, not on ‘us and our stuff’

If you were giving away a Hawaiian vacation to people who signed up for your webinar, which would you lead with? The vacation, or the webinar?

Vacation in Hawaii

Brain wave Giving away a trip to Hawaii? Lead with the benefit. Image by Kanaka Menehune

From what I’ve seen — from training more than 25,000 communicators in more than 1,000 organizations over 20 years — most folks would choose the webinar.

Sign up for our webinar
and get a dream trip to Hawaii!

But leading with the webinar won’t grab your readers’ attention and move them to act.

Instead, lead with the benefits and substantiate with the features. Focus on your reader’s wants and needs first, then follow up with your organization and its products, services and ideas.

Steal a trick from these Silver Anvil winners.

These benefits leads from PRSA Silver Anvil-winning campaigns are great models of leading with the benefits and substantiating with the features.

Lead with the benefits …… Substantiate with the features
Employers now have a better way to measure, monitor and manage employee absences …… thanks to UnumProvident Corporation’s (NYSE: UNM) expanded online Comparative Reporting & Analysis (CR&A) information services.

Read full article >

“In the past, if we were trying to sell sushi, we would market it as cold, dead fish.”
— Bojana Fazarinc, former marketing director, Hewlett-Packard

Here’s the secret to reaching more readers

Write about the reader

There’s a good reason that “You” is the most retweeted word in the English language. It doesn’t matter who you are: You are your own favorite topic.

What's in it for me?

What’s in it for me? Focus your message on what the reader gets out of it, not on what you put into it. Image by Roy Niswanger

So if you want to reach your reader, write about the reader. Don’t write about your organization and its products, services, programs and ideas — aka “us and our stuff.”

At Catch Your Readers — a two-day writing Master Class on April 20-21 in Atlanta — you’ll learn how to position your messages in your readers’ best interests. (Most communicators position their messages in their organization’s best interests, which works fine if you are talking to yourself.)

You’ll master a four-step process for making your message more relevant, valuable and rewarding to your readers. You’ll discover the formula people use to determine which messages to pay attention to — and which to ignore. And you’ll walk away with a two-minute perspective shift that focuses your message on value to the audience.

You can save $100 if you act fast: Just 14 early bird tickets remain. Don’t miss out. Register now.

Register for Storytelling and Creative Writing Workshop in Phoenix

“I have been a journalist for 30 years, published more than 10,000 times, and I have learned more about writing in the past two days from Ann than I have in all that time.”
— Jim Masters, internal communications specialist, Accenture

Polish your skills at our 2016 Master Classes

Learn to Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Storytelling and Creative writing workshop in Phoenix on Feb. 23-24
Register for tight writing workshop in Chicago on May 11-12

Register for writing workshop in San Diego on June 28-29
Register for PR writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28

Register for Online writing workshop in New York on Sept. 28-29
Register for writing workshop in Houston on Nov. 2-3
Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?
Contact Ann directly.

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Atlanta: April 20-21
  • Bloomington, Indiana: April 5
  • Chicago: May 11-12
  • Englewood, Colorado: March 16-17
  • Houston: Nov. 2-3
  • New York: Sept. 28-29
  • Phoenix: Feb. 23-24
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: May 3-4
  • San Diego: June 28-29
  • Vacaville, California: March 1-2

Keep up with my calendar.