I was always a good headline writer. It's an art few outside the journalism realm appreciate. Because you don't catch a fish with the pole, you catch it with the hook. And a good headline hooks a reader into a story.
Headline writers are notorious punsters. And not everyone appreciates (or gets) a pun.
It was my ability to write headlines that drew me to advertising and eventually marketing. Because I think good advertising is headline writing on steroids. Think about it. A good copywriter has 60 seconds, a sentence or one quarter page to attract you, reel you in and stun you with a fish whacker. It's like writing the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin.
Think of the ads that endure and how deceptively simple they are: Got Milk? The Real Thing. Just Do It! Be all that you can be! Where's the beef? Who made the salad? Have it your way! My weiner has a first name...You are in good hands...King of Beers...How do you handle a hungry man? Plop, plop, fizz, fizz.
Obviously I am a child of television.
My days as a headline writer and copywriter are pretty much over these days. I am what they refer to as a "client side" advertising manager. I pay other people to be clever and sit back and bite my tongue to avoid blurting out puns and clever sayings to the ad agency people who work for me. Because there is nothing more annoying to a copywriter than for someone else to give them suggestions. So I just smile and nod at the clever things I'm presented.
Sometimes I wish I was just a copywriter again. It didn't pay squat, but it was sure fun.
Oh well, my 60 seconds are up.