Headlines are critical in corporate communications.
If someone reads nothing else but the headline, will they get the key message? And will the headline compel them to read the story?
A tweet can serve the same function. Can you get your key message across in under 140 characters? Will it engage your followers to click on the related link?
It turns out, there’s another powerful use for headlines and tweets. Alexandra Samuel outlines this in her HBR post How Content Marketers Can Tell Better Stories with Data.
“Start with your dream headline,” Samuel advises. She likes to start by “imagining my dream headlines or tweets: the discoveries that I would love my data to yield.”
Samuel gives the example of looking at child-related security risks. “I hoped to discover the security practices that led to the biggest reduction in online misdeeds,” she wrote, “something like ‘good passwords cut hacks perpetrated by kids by 50%’.”
This informs how she tackles the research. What’s less important is whether the discovery she wants to find is actually supported by the research. Because the method provides focus to the research.
This gives a better ability to discover “data that would yield the best-case outcome.” The headline and the story then evolve based on the most interesting and relevant insights from the data.
And it speaks to the 5-plus hours of learning that everyone at my employer is encouraged to do to mobilize the future.
We’re all lifelong learners. It’s a gift to be part of a company that creates a learning culture to do just that.
What are you learning today?