What’s the Headline?… What’s the Lead?
As a content creator providing policy messaging for clients ranging from 5000 word CEO speeches to 100 word tweets, it’s impossible not to notice the diminished attention span of today’s news consumers, the media themselves and society at-large.
There’s even a social media acronym to inform others one didn’t completely read a full text, document or news article: “TL;DR” — too long, didn’t read.
Putting aside the implications, the reality is that one must reduce virtually every piece of content’s “message essence” to a simplistic “What’s the Headline? What’s the Lead?” basis to cut through.
Readers’ increasingly short attention span means the real answer to the “What’s the Headline? What’s the Lead?” question is often the difference between a message that works or a message that’s ignored amid the cacophony of excessively long public utterances.