Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Titles are tools - your core message belongs there

The Immigration Policy Center sent out an e-mail yesterday promoting birthright citizenship and provided links to an accompanying blog post and fact check.  The body of the e-mail, the body of the post, and the body of the fact check make these points:

  • Citizenship is our birthright
  • Birthright citizenship is a cornerstone of American and Colonial history
  • The Constitution takes birthright citizenship as seriously as free speech, the right to bear arms, and a woman's right to vote
  • Birthright citizenship is simple and straightforward
  • Birthright citizenship recognizes the innocence of children
  • Birthright citizenship always has multiplied, and still does multiply, the number of law-abiding citizens in this country
But none of those points appears in the title of the blog post or the e-mail, or in the title or paragraph headers of the fact check.

Those points go to the core message that the IPC is trying to drive home, so the IPC should have put them in its bullet points, headers, and titles.

Those devices are tools.  Readers who skim your article will pick them up.  Readers who read deeper will be guided by and remember them.

Use your titles to communicate your core message.

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