Often what bogs down a good headline is trying to fit too much into it. The best headlines are usually short and sweet and convey a single key idea. And while they can contain a combination of ingredients—irony, humor, drama, truth—most of the time, they have only one clever twist that draws the reader in and leaves them wanting to know more. If they don’t do that, nothing that comes after them matters. Not the fascinating story, the noteworthy statistics or news, nothing.

Once you put some options together (yes, you should probably write more than one headline), review them to see which ones hit the sweet spot tonally. Which ones sound like a UNM headline? Run them through the UNM brand-voice filter. Is it soulful and creative? Genuine, warm, or forward-thinking? How about steadfast? Got a few winners? Good. Now weed out the weakest ones. If they’re too abrasive or too soft, we lose our audience. Uninteresting, out-of-character, we lose our audience. Inconsistent, confusing, guess what happens? (We lose our audience). So, be interesting and stay on-brand. However, if headlines aren’t your strength—if you find yourself struggling—opt for being straightforward instead. Opt for clarity. A good, straightforward headline beats a clunky headline that’s trying too hard any day.


Headline: We embrace our differences.

Brand Headline: Unalike-minded together.

Headline: We do great research.

Brand Headline: We’re here to find answers. All of them.

Headline: Creating opportunities for people throughout New Mexico.

Brand Headline: Creating outcomes that build incomes.