Whilst researching my 60 seconds pitch for a networking event a couple of years ago, I came across these excellent examples of 'How not to write a newspaper headline'. They're classic examples of how your readers could receive a completely different message from the one you intended to give, if you don't pay attention to what you're writing.
Best newspaper headlines of 1998
1. Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
2. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
3. Something Went Wrong in Jet crash, Experts Say
4. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
5. Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case
6. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
7. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead
8. Miners Refuse to Work After Death
9. Stolen Painting Found By Tree
10. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
11. Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
12. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Space
13. Typhoon Rips through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
14. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
You have been warned...!
OK, so these examples are no more than amusing newspaper headlines, destined to be wrapped round the next day's fish and chips. But making a similar mistake in a brochure, leaflet or newsletter that you've spent a fortune having printed isn't quite so funny. From making you and your business look silly to offending your audience, these are errors that could cost you dear.
So stay safe. Hire a professional copywriter to draft or edit your company's key communications. Contact me today for a quote.
Added: May 2012 by Faye Stenson