Do Your Headlines and Covers Have Maximum Impact? Here’s How to Find Out

Considered separately, effective headlines and front cover story lines have much in common. Within a few words each element immediately must establish key story value of the article being described.

But when it comes to heads selected for front cover position, the limited word count must be even more on-target. In many cases, magazines that should be at the top of their cover headline effort fall well short of their potential.

How about you? Especially when compared to your toughest competitor, where do you stand?

Find out with an insider’s know-how review from Editorial Solutions, Inc. (ESI). Your review begins with an assessment of your front cover headlines. Key questions answered by our analysis will include the following:

  • Is the key story point immediately conveyed by the headline, or is it bogged down by “label” wording?
  • Do the accompanying graphics clearly reflect article benefits?Do the story lines chosen clearly deserve cover location?
  • Does the subject matter variety of the cover lines encourage instant readership?
  • Does the headline emphasize the most attention-getting angle of the article?

For headlines inside your publication, ESI’s analysis includes these key points:

  • Are all possible message-bearing components—including captions, subheads, and call-outs—used effectively
  • Does the chief editor’s personal column avoid unnecessary anecdotal preludes before finally reaching key story point?
  • Can the impact feature article headlines be improved by revising the article introductions?
  • Does the headline deck, if any, elaborate rather than duplicate the main message headline focus?
  • Does the headline use attention-getting numbers in a timely manner?

For your headline + front cover review, you can choose either of the following two options:

  • Three-issue strength/weakness review vs. other publications.
  • Six-issue review totally devoted to your magazine.

The cost for either option is $750. For further information, contact ESI president Howard Rauch at editsol1@optimum.net or (201) 569-7714. Howard has judged several publishing industry editorial competitions including Neal Awards. He is an ASBPE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.