Who do you write for? Your editor? A subject? Your readers?

Whether you are tackling stories about utility programs or a feature on a community leader, never lose sight of the end game: your readers.

“When you’re trying to capture readers and tell them a story, the first thing I am fiercely conscious of is my audience and the story I’m trying to tell them,” says Michael Shepard, Ruralite Service’s CEO.

Before moving to the management side of publishing, Michael reported on state government and higher education for Washington and Idaho newspapers.

“I had to work really hard to say, ‘What’s the nugget I can take away from this interview?’” he says.

His advice? Worry less about what the person you interviewed wants you to say. Instead, focus on what will capture the reader. That makes for more compelling storytelling.

Hear Michael share a great example of a story lead in this video.