Do your headlines get people reading?

Friday morning and this is in my twitter timeline:

It would not be an exaggeration to say this tweet made my morning. I couldn’t stop chuckling for about 15 minutes! Five days later it is still in the BBC’s top shared stories and so far more than 134,000 people have shared the link.

Of course, it’s such a ridiculously silly story that people are bound to want to share it, but if the headline had read Fermenting Fruit Maroons Moose or Over Ripe Fruit Proves a Danger to Animals it’s a fairly safe to assume not many people would have been clicking through to read the article, never mind tweeting in their tens of thousands!

My point is that so often communications people kill an otherwise inspiring, relevant or quirky story by hastily slapping on a dull headline or worse still, exercising their creativity with a dreadful pun or piece of alliteration.

Whether you’re tweeting, posting, blogging or pitching, the fact is your followers or target journalists are exposed to thousands of messages everyday. It’s nice to imagine that your clever or thought provoking headline is going to entice your reader, but the fact is they’re more likely to click over it on their way to the simple one that makes it quite clear there is something worth reading underneath.

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