From the Inappropriate / Awkward Headlines File: “The Iraq War: How good was it for business?” Yes, this was actually the headline of a blog featured on a prominent industry web site – taken from a blog featured on the web site of a prominent major-city newspaper. The lesson here is that it’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.
Every moron who can string together three phrases seems to be writing a blog. I begrudge no one the opportunity to share his / her views and opinions. However, we should be aware that when speaking to a wider audience, the chances of offending someone, being misunderstood, sparking outrage, and being criticized increases exponentially. I was immediately irritated when I read this headline; in fact, I didn’t even read the blog right away; the topic didn’t appeal to me.
Remembering that this little snippet from someone’s mind was fed to me by a trade publication, I did read the blog. The topic is a rant about the fact that military suppliers make lots of money during times of war (duh), a gem of an idea derived from the blogger’s exploration of the Association of the United States Army’s annual military hardware trade show. That’s fine and dandy. The headline, however, foretold of a detached, jaded look at the Iraq War and its positive effect on the economy (minus the human factor, sans sensitivity).
This is why we have headline writers, people. News outlets hire real-live writers just just to pen the headlines, so that they actually hint at the content and convey the tone contained within the article. Get it? Rambling in a blog doesn’t make you a writer any more than installing PhotoShop makes you a graphic designer. It’s why we call them “blogs” and not “learned white papers” or “scholarly essays.”
Writing is more than the ability to spew sentences with wicked keyboarding skills. At its pinnacle, it’s an art form; at its most base, it’s a means of communication. The latter is all most blogs can manage. Leave the writing to the writers but – since we all know you cannot – please try to keep your headlines on topic to your blogs.
You can find writers and designers at Tradeshows And Displays Inc.