Headline Tip #14: Numbers and Stats Add Up to Readers

by Wes Hanson on May 3, 2012

Numbers make a very specific promise of what the reader is going to get in exchange for reading time. Data implies validity: it must be real if there are numbers attached.

It is hard to disbelieve numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Only people do that.

“Numbers make ideas real,” says Sarah Skerik, PRNewswire’s VP of social media. [http://linkd.in/sYgwtc] “If you have data within a press release, call it out in the headline.”

People love numbers, that’s why the pros who assemble impossible-not-to-pick-up magazines put numbered lists (“listicles”) on the covers. Learn from the pros, ape what works: numbers legitimize the story and promise not to waste the reader’s time.

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