1. Is it newsworthy? Is it new? Is it informative? Is it local? Is it something we don’t know? Is it surprising? Is it interesting? Why is it interesting? If you are not interested, your reader will not be interested.
2. Leads that use “you” only work if the reader shares that experience. Leads that ask questions only work if the reader can answer “yes.”
3. In a phrase tell reader why you chose to interview or quote a specific person. If you have a personal connection to the person, disclose it.
4. Move beyond who and what you know.
5. Details matter. You owe it to your sources – and yourself – to write as well as you can.