When teasing financial stories, think checking accounts, not stock portfolios.
Incredibly few viewers actively trade stocks. Lots of folks have a 401K, but few understand the mechanics of Wall Street. If you ask most news producers to define the NASDAQ, they can’t do it. Ask them who “the Fed” is and most will get it wrong. If college-educated journalists don’t know this stuff, what chance does a working-class viewer have?
Teases should not be about Wall Street, but about the EFFECTS of Wall Street. Will credit card rates go up? Will new jobs be created or lost because of the rise in the NASDAQ? How will local companies be affected? Financial news should be about checking accounts, home mortgages and credit cards, not stock portfolios. Make financial news approachable by interpreting it for the audience. Try hard to talk to local bankers, not Wall Street experts in $2000 suits.
This means you’ll want to avoid using stock teases provided from services like Bloomberg, CNBC and CBS Marketwatch. These Wall Street wonders live in a different world than anyone in a typical home. Their audience is millionaires. Even a Wall Street analyst would have a hard time deciphering the specifics of their teases. These people are such stock geeks, they have totally lost touch with the average viewer. Throw away these stock teases and write them yourself, using plain English.
Graeme Newell is a broadcast and web marketing specialist who serves as the president and founder of 602 communications. You can reach Graeme at gnewell@602commu nications.com.