Written by Isobel O'Connor-Smith, Coordinator, Corporate Communications, Communications and Public Affairs

You have a story, and we want to hear it. Learn the secrets for writing attention-grabbing headlines when you submit to The Beat.

You have a story, and we want to hear it. But it’s a sea of multi-taskers out there … under deadlines and under pressure. Information can come at us from all directions, fast and furious. That can make grabbing your reader’s attention a challenge.

Here are some tips to write a headline that takes readers from scanning your words to sticking to them.

Be specific and clear

  • Think short, snappy and concise (six to ten words)
  • Put yourself in your reader's shoes -- what question does your article answer for them? 
  • Keep it simple -- no acronyms or jargon that requires a google search to find out what you mean

Example: Picking great passwords

Tone – the power is in the positivity

  • Words that are emotive, positive and warm capture attention
  • Use strong key words that summarize the main idea of your article

Example: Brilliant minds, brilliant solutions at the Fraser Health Hackathon

Action, impact and immediacy

  • Give a call to action. Headlines that let your reader know what is expected of them get read. 

Example: Update your own contact information

Don't cram too much detail in the headline

The headline and "short description" is what lands in your inbox with The Beat email every Thursday, so use that to your advantage. In the submission form, add detail in the short description box that you can't fit in your snappy headline, so readers know why they should take the time to click and read the whole article.

A headline and short description that outlines what is happening and how it will impact the reader is a simple, winning formula. Think of your audience, be clear, be concise, be warm and get your calls to action heard.


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