Making it digestible

There is a word beloved of newspaper editors to describe worthy, heavyweight but ever-so-slightly dull topics – and that word is chewy.

News which falls into the chewy category would include government IT projects, pensions reform and the day-to-day business of the European Parliament. It usually gets stuck on page 2, to be gently passed over on the way to a sex scandal, sporting triumph or (naming no newspaper titles) topless girl on page 3.

The joy of becoming your own publisher, using your own website and social media sites, is that you are not beholden to a newspaper editor dumping your chewy story in a boring plain slot with no pictures on a page no one will read. You can take the subject and make it easy to digest – bring it to life with beautiful images, videos and real-life examples. Because the thing about chewy stories is that they actually contain useful information which some or all of us need to know about. That is why newspapers publish them rather than ignoring the subject.

A good example of breaking a subject down into useful, bite-size chunks is this report by management consultants Accenture on managing the risks of social media.

A potentially unwieldy subject is split into: the various kinds of risk; the issues specific to each social media platform, eg. Facebook, Twitter; key people from Accenture who can help; and views from businesses which flag up the rewards as well as the challenges of using social media.

Thoughtful and comprehensive publishing on Accenture’s own site gave the consultancy the chance to sidestep anonymity in the chewy pages.

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