Stories have room for all of the literary strategies that naturally keep an audience interested – narrative, perspective, humor, emotion and progression. Whether you are reporting hard news, performing a public service or dealing with issue awareness, you can write your audio news release from the perspective of an emotional narrative, using humor and other devices to progress your point.
Keep in mind that good stories do not drone on forever – brevity is always the soul of wit. Great stories can be broken down into three main parts as well. These parts are fairly straightforward to consider – the beginning, the middle and the end.
Beginning Your Story
The opening narrative or lead must grab the attention of your listener in a compelling way. What makes your story newsworthy? Answer this question within the first sentence. Being as clear and transparent as possible will increase the value of your story.
Second, how is your story relevant and relatable to your audience? Relating material to your audience is just as much tone and performance as it is narrative, so make sure that your performance is as captivating as the material that you are presenting. Set a strong foundation that you can build from as you progress.
Progressing Your Story
The meat of your ANR is here. Once you have your listener’s attention, it is up to you to progress the story in a way that will continue to keep them interested. Consider the ebb and flow, the slowing and speeding up of a roller coaster at the county fair. Would you appreciate the accelerations without the slow buildups? Would you anticipate the selling points if there were no tension and denouement? It is a good thing to change pace as you need to – vocal tone, density of information, emphasis and volume. Bring in relevant sources that will validate your points. Add a soundbite from your spokesperson to enhance the story’s credibility and include facts, figures and examples to bring the story to the conclusion.
Ending Your Story
A strong conclusion reminds the listener why you were both here in the first place. Take your message back to its essence, and do not be afraid to repeat the major points that you introduced in the beginning of your narrative. People may need a reminder in order to tie all of the facts together with your narrative. This is also where you include your call to action if you are using a guaranteed placement vehicle. Make your CTA as natural as possible – no one likes a hard sell these days, especially at the end of a news report.