If it wore clothes, it would wear a cardigan. With pockets.
It sure ain't glamorous. There are no scoops (such as they are these days), and there are no celebrity interviews or witty columns.
Service journalism is the simple reporting of stuff that's useful, such as "where to get your H1N1 shot," "which roads will be closed this weekend," and "how to get your drivers' license renewed."
I like it, because it gets read.
People want to know this stuff. It's one reason why they buy newspapers.
It's no accident that the default title of the newsletters I make is News You Can Use.
After all, readers want to know WIIFM (What's In It For Me?) Is this article going to help me live my life?
When it comes to writing headlines for your service journalism articles, clearly telegraph how the article will help.
Typical service journalism headlines go like this:
• How To Insulate Your Home
• Where To Get Your Flu Shot
• When to Book Your Vacation Travel
But, as a reader of this email, you know you can go one step further.
If you can add a benefit to your service journalism headline, you'll increase readership.
• How To Insulate Your Home for Under $500
• Where to Get Your Flu Shot Without Lining Up
• When to Book Your Vacation Travel - For the Best Price to the Sunniest Destinations
Now that's something I really want to read.