A head for news

Seven ways to polish your traditional headlines

Here’s a quick tip for making more of your news headlines: Make sure you’re telling the story and not just telling about the story.

A head for news

Break the news Tell the story, don’t tell about the story in your news head. Image by Flood G.

Your news headline should communicate the gist of your message. That way, readers can understand your point, even if they don’t read the article.

Instead of telling about the story …… tell the story
Moves and milestonesPhil Smith named product manager, Program Development
Success storiesE-commerce group sells out at Eurocomm trade show
Benefits changes announcedHallmark doubles profit-sharing contribution
New survey tracks industry trendsMore communicators measuring ROI, survey says

Here are seven other steps for making your news headline more compelling:

Read full article >

“Every good title is a short story.”
— Russell Banks, American writer of fiction and poetry

Heads up on headlines

How to perfect the most important words in your message

By the time you’ve written your headline, David Ogilvy used to say, you’ve spent 80 cents of your communication dollar.

Heads up on headlines

See headlines in a new way Display copy gets the biggest ROI of all the copy you write. Why, then, are so many headlines so lame? Image by Trisha Descallar

Display copy — headlines, decks, subheads, captions, callouts and so forth — get the biggest ROI of all the copy we write.

That’s why I’m often amazed the same folks who spend hours polishing the analogy in the 12th paragraph toss off a headline in the 17 seconds before happy hour on a Friday evening. Most of your readers will never see the 12th paragraph of your brilliant copy. But many more will read your display copy.

At Catch Your Readers — a two-day writing Master Class on April 20-21 in Atlanta — you’ll learn how to Lift Your Ideas Off the Page with display copy.

You’ll discover how to reach nonreaders with display copy; how to use proven-in-the-lab best practices for headlines, subheads and captions — even how to use display copy to make your message look easier to read (and if it looks easier to read, more people will read it).

Act fast: Just 24 tickets remain. Don’t miss out. Register now.

Register now

“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser

Polish your skills at our 2016 Master Classes

Learn to Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for persuasive writing workshop in Atlanta on April 20-21
Register for tight writing workshop in Chicago on May 11-12

Register for writing workshop in San Diego on June 28-29
Register for PR writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28

Register for Online writing workshop in New York on Sept. 28-29
Register for writing workshop in Houston on Nov. 2-3
Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?
Contact Ann directly.

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Atlanta: April 20-21
  • Bloomington, Indiana: April 5
  • Chicago: May 11-12
  • Englewood, Colorado: March 16-17
  • Houston: Nov. 2-3
  • Moline, Illinois: May 24-25
  • New York: Sept. 28-29
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: May 3-4
  • San Diego: June 28-29
  • Vacaville, California: March 1-2

Keep up with my calendar.