Headlines are the universal representation of the story.
The headline is responsible for grabbing the audiences’ attention and evoking some emotional trigger that will get them to click and then read the story.
Headlines are crucial to the reader because without a headline, there would be no gateway to the content. If there is no gateway, the reader won’t know what the content is so they most likely won’t read it.
Today’s digital user wants everything to be straight forward, quick, surprising and most importantly relevant to them. The job of the headline is to attract the reader’s attention by delivering those exact elements, and then allowing the content of the story to justify the claims that the headline has made.
b. Recently Clicked Headline: (February 26, 2017)
“The birth control pill is killing women, but no one’s warning them of the risk”
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled across this headline to an article that was shared by one of my Facebook friends. I clicked on this article primarily because it instilled fear right away by saying that this pill women are taking is killing them without having been warned of the risks ahead of time.
The next reason I clicked the article is because it is relevant to me. Many women including myself take birth control pills for a wide variety of reasons. I have also had bad reactions to certain pills in the past, so when I saw that there was a deadly risk factor to this specific pill, I felt obligated to look more into it.
Following the headline there was a subhead underneath it which caused further concern,
“The pill kills truth. It exists and is prescribed to women amid a swirl of chaos; amidst contradictions and lies; and amidst dead, blind and profoundly injured women”
After reading that subhead I was just plain scared, not only for myself but for my friends and family who are also on the pill.
This headline demonstrates a Problem, Agitate, Solve style in my opinion. The article starts out with the problem “The birth control pill is killing women,” and then not at all subtly agitates with “but no one’s warning them of the risk”, which can also be the solve because without having to say it, this article is solving the problem by warning people of the risks.
The content did justify the heading by providing heaps of information about the pill, organization, sponsors and real life testimonials from women and their experiences.
The actual article was posted online on May 7, 2015.