Storytelling and the Lure of Long-Form Content

Share |

By John Bond


Some people think long-form content is dead or dying. On the contrary, long-form content is alive and well.


But even the rise of the consumption of media on mobile phones has done little to dent long-form's popularity. A 2016 Pew Research study found that long-form articles received just as many readers as short-form on mobile devices. However, long-form pieces received more than double the engagement time.


It is a valuable option for storytellers at magazines or websites that are looking to deeply engage readers. Association media professionals should consider using this valued format, but it is important to the proper formula.


Richard Gard, editor of Virginia Magazine and vice president of communications, University of for the Virginia Alumni Association, recently gave a presentation at the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting in June 2019 in Washington, DC, about using long-form content in association publications.


Richard discussed the key elements to the creation of long-form storytelling in association communications:

  • A deserving topic

  • Reportorial depth and integrity

  • The right writer

  • Story structure

  • Full integration of text and presentation

  • Sufficient time to do it well

  • Content promotion to protect the investment


The session also included a frank discussion about some of the practical impediments to devoting resources to a long-form project and how to overcome them.


The key part of using long-form content is choosing a compelling story that will engage readers. Change things up in your publication and try this winning format and your readers will respond.


John Bond is a Publishing Consultant at Contact him at