LAST WEEK’S HINT focused on a jump that was w-a-y too short. But did you notice another problem? How about a jumphead that says nothing? The one word “PLAN” offers not a clue to the meaning of the story. Sure, it works as a keyword that readers can find if they are continuing to read the story from the front page. But…it assumes that your readers always read the paper from front to back. Nope. Many readers go into the paper to browse through the obits. Or to look for that letter to the editor a friend said she was going to write. Or to check a score. Then they’ll turn pages forward, more likely than not. So, when they run into a jump that’s only one word, it can be confusing—and certainly not very compelling. “Plan” or “Council” or “Report” are not going to grab readers. But perhaps the following might:
PLAN: City to demolish
most of downtown bock
And that jumphead alone could get readers into the story just long enough that they’ll go out to the front to look at the entire package.
Give readers enough information in the jumphead and odds are you’ll pull them in. Give them just a word…nah.