HeadlinesJMC 300
Goals Attract reader‟s attention Summarizes story Helps predict the subject of an article Helps reader index the conte...
Goals Depicts story‟s mood Helps predict main idea or viewpoint Helps set tone of newspaper Provide adequate typograph...
Tips Get key words in early Make sure it is accurate Don‟t editorialize or overstate Don‟t repeat the lead or ending o...
Tips Be conversational and clear Use active voice Question headlines seldom work
Headlines that sell Alliteration Rhymes Balance and contrast
Headlines that sell Graphic devices Puns Twist on familiar
Subject-verb (completion) U.S. bombs Benghazi Youth talk about alcohol Homewood, churcheshand out aid to poor
Noun phrase – without a verb Godzilla! Obama on the Middle East The stars of „DWTS‟
Headlines are often elliptical Some words are left out: the or a(n) [The]Stillness of [the]night shattered by gunfire T...
Grammar Headlines often follow different grammatical rules   Not always complete sentences      More earthquake deaths ...
Grammar  Special tense-system    Unusual to find complex forms like is coming or has     produced    Generally the simp...
Grammar  Sometimes present progressive tense is used, but auxiliary   verb is usually left out.        Global bacon shor...
Grammar To refer to the future, headlines often use the infinitive    Vice president to visit Austal    President to an...
Grammar Quotation marks used to show comment   Not necessarily that they are true Question marks are used when somethin...
Comma And: Income, spending up sharply Separating a list or phrases   iPhone‟s larger, thinner design   19 months afte...
Colon A colon is used to separate main point and comment   VT shooting: Death toll rises Explain   Washington predicti...
Magazine headlines Using interesting adjectives   Effortless   Painstaking   Fun   Free   Absolute
Magazine headlines Unique rationale   Reasons   Principles   Facts   Ideas   Secrets   Tricks
Magazine headlines How and Why   Trigger words to enable or persuade Numbers   Five new foods that will burn fat   10...
Magazine tips Read the article, list main words and phrases Be friends with your thesaurus Avoid clichés and the hackne...
Magazine headlines Say it simply and directly State the big benefit Bark a command Offer useful information
Magazine headlines Simple formula Number or trigger word + Adjective +Keyword + Promise “Bathing elephants”   You coul...
Magazine headlines Catchy Curiosity Controversy Specifics Be useful   The best headline tells the reader what he‟s g...
Online headlines Search Engine Optimization   The process of improving the visibility of a website in a    search engine...
Online headlines Originally: straight from the print version First evolution: search engines – keyword heavy Second evo...
Online headlines Now: eye-catching, clever and includes keywords   Includes some of the same principles used in magazines
Online headlines Who are you writing for?
Online headlines People
Online headlines People Social media
Online headlines People Social media Search engines
Online headlines SEO primacy   URL   Headline, title of article   First paragraph      Keyword heavy   Inbound links...
Online headlines Google     Content freshness     Diversity of content – different angles     Rich textual content – k...
Online headlines Influence begets influence    Page rank    Links    Link text is associated with your site Title   ...
Online headlines
Online headlines Newspapers/magazines don‟t who is reading what. On the web, we know. The difference: 10-20 times the t...
Online headlines Often isolated with little or no context Appear in many places on the site Pop up on external sites C...
Online headlines What draws clicks?   Lists   Quotes   Numbers   Names
Online headlines „Kate Middleton playing World of Warcraft on beach‟  won‟t generate a lot of clicks What will my reader...
Online headlines Specificity Tell as much of the story as possible More precise than clever or funny Don‟t oversimplif...
Online headlines Your top angle    Does it reflect the article? Plan your headline    Which words hold the most import...
Online headlines Don‟t worry about being boring If the story is boring headline magic won‟t help much Great story you c...
Online headlines Spend 20 minutes Research Work until you have a killer headline Tell the story to others; note the re...
Headline tips
Headline tips
Headline tips
Headline tips
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Headline tips

  1. 1. HeadlinesJMC 300
  2. 2. Goals Attract reader‟s attention Summarizes story Helps predict the subject of an article Helps reader index the contents of a page
  3. 3. Goals Depicts story‟s mood Helps predict main idea or viewpoint Helps set tone of newspaper Provide adequate typographic relief
  4. 4. Tips Get key words in early Make sure it is accurate Don‟t editorialize or overstate Don‟t repeat the lead or ending of story
  5. 5. Tips Be conversational and clear Use active voice Question headlines seldom work
  6. 6. Headlines that sell Alliteration Rhymes Balance and contrast
  7. 7. Headlines that sell Graphic devices Puns Twist on familiar
  8. 8. Subject-verb (completion) U.S. bombs Benghazi Youth talk about alcohol Homewood, churcheshand out aid to poor
  9. 9. Noun phrase – without a verb Godzilla! Obama on the Middle East The stars of „DWTS‟
  10. 10. Headlines are often elliptical Some words are left out: the or a(n) [The]Stillness of [the]night shattered by gunfire The verb to be [is/are] are left out  Amy Bishop [is] found guilty of murder
  11. 11. Grammar Headlines often follow different grammatical rules  Not always complete sentences  More earthquake deaths  Headlines often contain strings of nouns  iPhonefactory riot  Articles and the verb to be are often left out  Samford football rising, says coach
  12. 12. Grammar  Special tense-system  Unusual to find complex forms like is coming or has produced  Generally the simple present (comes, produces) is used  Radio stations sends food to tsunami victims  Students fight for curriculum updates  Rich babies eat less, says researcher
  13. 13. Grammar  Sometimes present progressive tense is used, but auxiliary verb is usually left out.  Global bacon shortage „unavoidable‟ next year  US getting warmer, say researchers
  14. 14. Grammar To refer to the future, headlines often use the infinitive  Vice president to visit Austal  President to announce foreign policy Tuesday Passive sentences use no auxiliary verb, just the past participle  Updyke arrested on terrorizing charge  Teen hurt in fall
  15. 15. Grammar Quotation marks used to show comment  Not necessarily that they are true Question marks are used when something is not certain  Recession over by spring?
  16. 16. Comma And: Income, spending up sharply Separating a list or phrases  iPhone‟s larger, thinner design  19 months after graduation, finally a job
  17. 17. Colon A colon is used to separate main point and comment  VT shooting: Death toll rises Explain  Washington prediction: growth evaporates, almost recession Name, not direct quote  Senator: Give me polygraph
  18. 18. Magazine headlines Using interesting adjectives  Effortless  Painstaking  Fun  Free  Absolute
  19. 19. Magazine headlines Unique rationale  Reasons  Principles  Facts  Ideas  Secrets  Tricks
  20. 20. Magazine headlines How and Why  Trigger words to enable or persuade Numbers  Five new foods that will burn fat  10 ways to lower your golf score  The five things great parents know about their kids Make a promise  Promise your reader something  Deliver on it
  21. 21. Magazine tips Read the article, list main words and phrases Be friends with your thesaurus Avoid clichés and the hackneyed turn of phrase Study other publications Practice writing for already published stories
  22. 22. Magazine headlines Say it simply and directly State the big benefit Bark a command Offer useful information
  23. 23. Magazine headlines Simple formula Number or trigger word + Adjective +Keyword + Promise “Bathing elephants”  You could write an article entitled, “How to Bath an Elephant” or “Why I Love Bathing Elephants.”  “18 Unbelievable Ways You Can Bathe an Elephant Indoors” “Selling your house in a day”  “How You Can Effortlessly Sell Your Home in Less than 24 Hours”
  24. 24. Magazine headlines Catchy Curiosity Controversy Specifics Be useful  The best headline tells the reader what he‟s getting.  The more useful, the better.
  25. 25. Online headlines Search Engine Optimization  The process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine‟s results.  SEO targets different kinds of search, including images, locale, video, news and industry-specific searches.  SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms used and which search engines the targeted audience prefers.
  26. 26. Online headlines Originally: straight from the print version First evolution: search engines – keyword heavy Second evolution: RSS feeds – eye-catching
  27. 27. Online headlines Now: eye-catching, clever and includes keywords  Includes some of the same principles used in magazines
  28. 28. Online headlines Who are you writing for?
  29. 29. Online headlines People
  30. 30. Online headlines People Social media
  31. 31. Online headlines People Social media Search engines
  32. 32. Online headlines SEO primacy  URL  Headline, title of article  First paragraph  Keyword heavy  Inbound links  Links from elsewhere  Social bookmarking/blogging  Keywords in text  Meta keywords
  33. 33. Online headlines Google  Content freshness  Diversity of content – different angles  Rich textual content – keywords  Indexes quickly, so beware of mistakes Bing  Quality content  Relevant ingoing/outgoing  Relevant title tags  Don‟t overkill the keywords
  34. 34. Online headlines Influence begets influence  Page rank  Links  Link text is associated with your site Title  <title>Most important part of the page</title>
  35. 35. Online headlines
  36. 36. Online headlines Newspapers/magazines don‟t who is reading what. On the web, we know. The difference: 10-20 times the traffic
  37. 37. Online headlines Often isolated with little or no context Appear in many places on the site Pop up on external sites Can‟t depend on text size for impact Must get the point across Change from print, or changed/updated as circumstances warrant
  38. 38. Online headlines What draws clicks?  Lists  Quotes  Numbers  Names
  39. 39. Online headlines „Kate Middleton playing World of Warcraft on beach‟ won‟t generate a lot of clicks What will my reader respond to? What will they search? Squeeze that into 68 characters (ie What makes people click?)
  40. 40. Online headlines Specificity Tell as much of the story as possible More precise than clever or funny Don‟t oversimplify or patronize
  41. 41. Online headlines Your top angle  Does it reflect the article? Plan your headline  Which words hold the most importance? Include the top two. Be clever, witty, make sure it stands out Who are you writing for Keywords are king  What will people search for? Be clear and concise
  42. 42. Online headlines Don‟t worry about being boring If the story is boring headline magic won‟t help much Great story you can‟t explain in the headline = poor story
  43. 43. Online headlines Spend 20 minutes Research Work until you have a killer headline Tell the story to others; note the reaction

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