Regardless of how interesting or engaging the body of a story may be, a lacklustre headline and standfirst can fail to tempt a reader to go any further.
This is a particular challenge for long-form pieces, where reporters have to resist the urge to give away too much information too soon, but still have to give them a reason to invest.
"Most long stories raise an implicit question in the reader: By starting with a person, or a place, or an action, the question that is implied is 'Why is this person/place/scene important?' But sometimes you raise an explicit question," he writes.
Save the date: our Newsrewired conference takes place on 27 November at Reuters, London. Head to newsrewired.com for the full agenda and tickets