My favorite headline of the year

Here is, without doubt, my favorite headline of the year. It’s from Smithsonian Magazine, one of the most well-written publications in print today:

Guerrillas in Their Midst

Face to face with Congo’s imperiled mountain gorillas

Take another look. Did you see the photo and read “gorillas” in that headline? In just four words and one photo, this headline tells a story. It’s unbelievably clever, playing off the Dian Fossey story “Gorillas in the Mist.” It’s intriguing — If the headline is this great to read, then the story must be wonderful. And just who are these guerrillas, anyway? I’m hooked. (Read the story.)

It’s just the type of headline Dr. Mario Garcia is talking about when he says, “You can have the same story read by 40% more people with a headline that entices you to get there.”

Imagine — 40% more readers with just four words! Now, that’s power.

Dr. Garcia is on The Poynter Institute’s fascinating site detailing eyetracking studies that reveal how people read in print and online.

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One thought on “My favorite headline of the year

  1. All your posts are terrific, but this one is my favorite. I totally agree that the headline is very powerful if done well. Too bad we’re swimming in a sea of powerless headers though. By the way, this gorilla guerilla story has played out in many magazines and it’s a very sad one. Apparently it ranks low against high gas prices and the slumping real estate market on the “I should care” scale. Readership/viewership is such a battle in the media these days – at least a stellar headline like this one rises above the rest to tell an important story.

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