Delivering Rich Content to Time-Poor Readers

Posted on September 15, 2016 By

Studio shot of young woman working in office covered with adhesive notes

Delivering rich content to time-poor readers is beginning to gain strong ground.  Earlier this year, the UK launched a new national newspaper for the first time in 30 years. News Day breaks somewhat new ground not only for being a printed newspaper with no website equivalent (although it is on social media), but also for presenting what its editor has referred to as a “ruthless edit of the day” for “time-poor readers.”

News Day is following in the footsteps of i, another UK daily launched in 2010, which offers a “comprehensive digest of the news in printed form.”  Research suggests that the best starting point for providing rich and relevant business content to readers strapped for time starts with asking these four questions:

  1. Who are my readers?
  2. What are the critical things they need to know?
  3. What is relevant to them?
  4. How much time will they be willing to invest on my piece?

Online, the battle for readership is more fiercely fought.  Whether addressing busy professionals working on deadlines, sleep-deprived parents needing information on how to get their baby to sleep at night, students juggling school and part-time work, or anyone who can devote only a few minutes to reading an article, online channels are offering a variety of ways to deliver meaningful content as concisely as possible.

Websites offer news digests, “at-a-glance” guides, and business content in bullet points. Longer pieces are broken up through clever layout to reduce the “overwhelm” factor for readers. Articles are also complemented by videos, images, and charts to make it easier for all types of readers to absorb and retain the more salient points of the piece.

With information only becoming more and more accessible through more channels for the foreseeable future, the challenge to deliver content that is rich, relevant, accurate, yet concise will not lessen over time. Andy Warhol spoke of everyone having fifteen minutes of fame. Writers will have less time than that to get their points across and their time begins now.

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