: You mentioned the first introduction paragraph is the most importantaspect of it. Would you say that's more important than even the title?
: No, the headline to any media release is vital, because it's the first point of contact. It potentially will tease the interest of the reader, lure that reader in tofind out more, much like if you were looking at Teletext headlines. You'd make adecision there and then on the basis of that headline.So no, I wouldn't underestimate the power of the headline at all. And if you'vegot a particular skill to produce a headline that is a bit witty or a play on words,then all the better. But if you are unable to do that, then better to produce aheadline that just simply says, in very, sort of "cat sat on the mat" terms, whatthe story is seeking to do. And you'll find that, in most cases, the headline is just a reflection, a tighterversion, of what actually is said in the opening paragraph. So the headline andthe opening paragraph very much work as a sort of couple--one to kind of lurethe reader into the other.
: OK. And in your experience, is the headline mostly often changed by journalists, once they actually receive the release?
: I would think probably all the time, actually, because journalists--well, itwon't be journalists that would be writing the headline; that would be thesub-editor who will do that. And sub-editors have a particular skill in producingclever, witty headlines. They're also working, of course, to productionrequirements, where they have to fit the headline into a particular amount of space.So whether it's a one-deck, two-deck, or three-deck headline, they will have towork within the physical parameters of the space they have to fill. So they will beable to require to come up with a headline that is clever and engaging, alsoseeks to make clear of what the rest of the story is about to reveal, and also willfit within the production parameters, in terms of space on the newspaper.Now, that's a job that's done by sub-editors, so journalists won't have anythingto do with the headline. It will be just a question of them being lured, potentially,by that headline in the media release that they see.
: That's really interesting, the fact that the headline is solely to attract theattention of the journalist, as opposed to actually market your story to yourpublic. You mentioned one-deck, two-deck, three-deck headlines; I wasn't toosure of what you meant by that. Could you possibly explain that?