The best headlines ever written have a few important things in common: The 4 U’s. Journalist and writing coach Starshine Roshell shares the 4 U’s and explains why your headlines should be Unique, Useful, Ultra-specific and Urgent if you really want to draw readers into your story. This video tutorial is full of fun examples.
- [Voiceover] Headline nerds like me are all too happy…to tell you about the best headline they ever read.…A reporter friend of mine remembers a headline…from the New York Daily News for a story…about a travel agency…that was selling bogus tours to Ireland.…The headline, Tour Allure a Lie.…But most headlines aren't blessed with genius.…They need a little help to make them sparkle,…and that's where the Four U's come in.…The Four U's are words to remind us of the characteristics…that the best headlines share.…
They're unique, useful, ultra-specific and urgent.…Let's start with unique.…Your headline can't stand out if it looks and sounds…like all the other headlines your reader encounters…in the course of a day.…Think about what you can do to be a little different.…Is it infusing your headline with personality?…Five Excel Tips You'll Actually Use.…In this one, it's the use of the word actually.…It adds some unexpected attitude.…
Or is the phrasing of your headline quirky and unheadlinish?…Or even ultra-conversational like this one,…
How do you sum up an entire story in a few words? Starshine shows you how to preview a story, pull out the relevant benefits, and pack them into a pithy headline. Find out how to use style to engage your readers—writing with vibrant, active language, being truthful, and telling readers what they need to know in a timely way. She also stresses the importance of mechanics, showing you how to correctly and effectively use punctuation and capitalization in headlines. Plus, get details on when to write subheads, how to employ keywords for SEO, and the background on headline trends, all with loads of examples along the way.
- Construct attention-grabbing headlines.
- List the four Us of great headlines.
- Name three problems that arise from using long headlines.
- Explain how to use active verbs to enhance a headline.
- Identify trends that are helpful in creating fresh headlines.
- Use proper mechanics to craft grammatically correct headlines.
- Compose a subhead to share additional critical details.
- Summarize the benefits of using strong keywords in headlines.