Our favourite headline: Man bites Dog!
But it makes no sense. Or does it? Let’s think about those words – and how they might relate to information technology.
The message is tantalising, thought provoking and if man really did bite dog, it’s newsworthy. As a headline it’s short, sharp and to the point – subject, active verb, object.
At PR Deadlines we like to craft all our messaging to the infotech world like that, in clear concise language across the entire communications spectrum: news releases, thought leadership, videos, pitches, direct mail, ads, lead generation – everything.
It’s a style evolved during 15 years or so writing for and editing newspapers and news agencies worldwide before being lured to the Dark Side (PR).
One of the publications I graced was a tabloid (which must remain nameless), where journalists were instructed to write for people ‘whose lips move when they read’.
As a young sub-editor on the Daily Mail (then a respectable broadsheet) in sunny Manchester, UK, subs would arrive at the editorial desk mid-afternoon when all was quiet, and edit fillers to drop into any odd page space later in the day.
Usually there were three or four versions of a story: reporter’s plus several from different news agencies – possibly 2,000 words in total. Our task: write a 30-word story with a 15-digit headline (letters and spaces between words) – an incredible exercise for getting to the point.
I’d advise everyone in communications to practise this exercise.
Our people at PR Deadlines are trained to write clear, concise copy. Although we don’t find too many men biting dogs among our infotech clients, we strive to apply this methodology (you see, we know big techie words) to everything we do.
We use it when unravelling the complexities of our clients’ IT solutions and presenting facts and figures to target audiences with a clarity that compels attention.
Our man-bites-dog style applies equally throughout today’s digital world, where content is presented in blog and social media formats. Here, short, sharp wording is essential since information is condensed into short, engaging, easily digested chunks.
Our clients are smitten – or should that be bitten!