Ten ways to score B2B news take-away value
When judging publishing industry editorial competitions, my most challenging category often is the Best Headline event. In the past, I restricted my evaluation to headlines accompanying feature articles. This year, I expanded the scope to account for treatments involving cover, contents page, and editorial columns.
The result is the following ten-point scoring system. If you decide to use it, feedback would be appreciated:
- Covers should carry at least five active story lines.
- Contents page should abandon tired headings—such as “features,” “departments,” or “news”—in favor of descriptions of specific, high-interest topics covered.
- Editorial columns should include headline plus at least one supporting element . . . such as a call-out.
- Feature article head-deck combos should not be echo chambers. Instead, the deck should elaborate on rather than simply duplicate the headline message.
- Short heads—like two-three words—are okay if they go beyond offering kicker value.
- Use active verbs in all feature and department headlines.
- Declare war on label usage everywhere—that includes subheads, captions, sidebars.
- Use story-telling jump lines running across the page as opposed to one-column corner slugs.
- Angle some of your story assignments to allow for use of heads with attention-getting numbers.
- Data-driven articles should include numbers in accompanying headline and deck.
Scoring for this approach will be weighted based on factor importance. Right now, my vote for higher-priority consideration would go to items 1, 4, 7, and 9. What do you think?