The ultimate goal of research for public release is to engage your audience and to produce positive business outcomes.
Achieving this goal can be facilitated by creating great headlines that will catch the attention of editors, reporters, bloggers and people talking about your company and what you are doing.
Recently, we have had ample opportunities to see inventive headlines. The royal birth created soaring headlines, though the understated “Woman Has Baby” might have been the best. On the other end of the spectrum is Miley Cyrus…but we don’t need to go there.
David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” He was talking about advertising, but the same holds true for earned media and successful content marketing.
At Logica Research , we have developed a process for working with our clients to create great headlines. What we have found is that great headlines are born in the planning phase, not in the reporting phase.
Getting to great headlines requires five interrelated actions:
- Vision – strategizing potential headlines that will get people’s attention in a positive way.
- Differentiation – creating a point of view that brings a new angle to the conversation.
- Tonality – deciding what voice will fit the client and the subject matter – serious or sassy, heavy or light.
- Questions – writing great questions that operationalize the vision, create differentiation and strike the right tone. These will be the foundation of a great headline.
- Objectivity – being intellectually honest about what the study results say and don’t say.
We aim to have headlines have a life after their initial unveiling.
The late topical songwriter and folksinger Phil Ochs once remarked, “Every newspaper headline is a potential song.”
Think about that when you’re writing your next headline.