Start with the End

 It’s both logical and counterintuitive

When people ask me about writing a press release, I suggest they start with the end. What do you want the news story to say?

Here’s why:

The reporter may be too busy to call and get more information. Therefore, make sure that any information you want to see in the resulting news article is included in the press release. Otherwise, it might not get into the story.

Now, let’s apply Start with the end to other situations.

Writing an article: It’s a well-scripted discussion that lets the reader know at the outset which topics will be reviewed and analyzed.

Perhaps you have had the experience of writing a draft and, in the process, you veered off on another track. You continued to develop this new thought and now you’ve arrived at a conclusion you had not anticipated.

You have two choices:

1. You can go back to the introduction and revise it to make it follow the new train of thought; or
2. You can keep the original idea and turn it into an additional article.

Networking: Elise Holtzman suggests you prepare for a networking conversation by answering this key question: What do you want your new contact to say about you when the interaction is over?

As a business coach for attorneys, Holtzman advises you compose your elevator pitch with an ear to capture the listener’s attention and succinctly cover key points about your business.

I agree; ideally, the new connection will remember an element or two of your pitch and then pass your name on to someone else. That person may be a colleague, employee, supervisor, family member or even a casual acquaintance. But if there’s nothing memorable about you, there will not be a next conversation with a potential client or referral source.

Speaking engagement or Podcast: Similarly, Diane DiResta counsels “At the end of the presentation, the audience will __. That answer is your outcome.” (2:18-2:32)

DiResta is a speech communications coach; she advises once you have decided on your outcome, you build the points of your presentation around that outcome to achieve a focused discussion.

This Month’s Tip

Help the reader or audience achieve the outcome. Now that you’ve educated the reader, listener or attendee, in most cases, your goal is for the person to contact you for your product or service.

When you want someone to give you a call, send you an email, visit your website or download a report, you have to provide them with the essential mechanism to take that step.

  • Include the phone and email address of the contact on the press release.
  • Indicate your website URL and email address in the author’s bio of your published article.
  • Exchange business cards at the networking event and invite the new contact to subscribe to your newsletter, when you have one.
  • Distribute a tip sheet or marketing literature with your contact details at the venue where you speak.
  • Mention your website and a free download in the podcast.

Remember, that news story, the article you wrote, the business card and networking conversation, plus the giveaway and theme of your presentation are more likely to travel further when you make them engaging and easy to share.


Where will you start your elevator pitch, press release, article, presentation or speech? Contact me at , set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Together we’ll start at the end to find the appropriate beginning. 

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