a newspaper "easy to read" is the single highest potential
area for growing readership. If newspapers become more "relaxing
to read" and "easy to find what I'm looking for" (the
two elements that make up "easy to read") people spend more
time reading the newspaper, read more completely, on more days of the
But what's behind easy to read? Unexpectedly, making a newspaper easier
to read does not center around design or placement of articles. In fact,
when we tested design components such as use of photographs, graphics,
color, headers at the top of stories, indexing, placement, jumps and
anchoring - none of them were related statistically to ease of reading.
What does make a newspaper easier to read are decisions editors and
reporters make when they assign and report stories:
more "go and do" information in stories
"Go and do" information is the nitty-gritty information
that newspapers excel in covering: phone numbers, times, dates, addresses,
Web sites, contact names. It's all the information readers need to
take action on a story, greatly increasing the usefulness of a story.
Surprisingly, only 10 percent of all newspaper stories include go
and do information.
more health, home, food, fashion, and travel coverage
Not only are these types of stories the No. 2 potential area for growing
readership, they also make readers feel that the paper is easy to
read. For more information on how to increase satisfaction in these
areas, go to our Satisfaction Drivers in Key Content Areas page.
more stories in a feature style rather than an inverted pyramid style
Writing style proved to be an important way of increasing satisfaction
with specific content areas but also for improving overall brand perception.
Papers that incorporate a narrative writing style in their coverage
of a wide variety of topics - not just traditional features content
- are seen as easier to read. See our The Value of Feature-style Writing page for more on this.
content more effectively in the newspaper
More effective in-paper content promotion guides readers to stories
of interest and alerts them to new types of content they may not have
seen before. It's easy to understand why papers that promote more
effectively would be seen as "easier to find what I'm looking
for." Our Content Promotion Overview Page offers a variety of resources that can help you promote content better .