Step 8: Write a catchy headline

Key Takeaways

1. Follow a 3-part structure: company name ➡️ action done ➡️ quantitative impact.

2. Always insert your most important metric.

3. Add dates and locations when necessary.

Why does it matter?

Headlines are not meant to be vague or to hide key pieces of information.

Readers should know in 5 seconds what the article is about and should be convinced that your analysis is worth reading (and rating!).

Think about media articles, what is going to entice you to read them? Great headlines have that power.

Below are some best practices you can follow to write an engaging headline which will make your analysis stand out.

1. Respect basic standards

A headline should respect the same editorial standards as the analysis (this is covered in Step 6: Use the right standards).


One recurring mistake we see is writers using CAPITAL LETTERS or putting Capital Letters at the Beginning of Each Word, which should be avoided.

Capital letters should only be used for Countries, Pronouns or Companies.

2. Follow a 3-part structure : Company name ➡️ action done ➡️ quantitative impact

This structure is the most effective to summarize the core of your analysis.

Let’s take a look at a few good headlines following this pattern:


  • CVS Health’s actions led to 10 million consumers losing access to their choice of pharmacies.
  • Pola Orbis consumed 218,365 m3 of water in 2018, sufficient to fill 87 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Tyson Foods partners with tech companies to gather data and optimize 169,968 hectares of farmlands.



Conversely, avoid putting the targets, commitments, or intentions of the company or relative metrics, as these may be misleading. For instance, you should not write:


  • Caterpillar has reduced energy intensity by 32% since 2006, but unlikely to achieve its 2020 -50% target

3. Insert your most important fact or metric

You will have noticed that each of the above headlines feature either:

  • Quantitative results
  • A core fact



Without these, your headline will remain unclear.

See the headlines below, do they tell you exactly what kind of impact the author is analysing?


  • Chipotle launches a sustainability tool to show the footprint of each ingredient
  • FedEx supports small businesses including minority and women-owned businesses



Not really, right?

To strengthen your headline, you need to wait until your analysis is finished, and then identify your most important metric:


  • It can either be an absolute number: number of women employed, volume of waste or CO2 emitted, etc.
  • A relative figure : % of energy consumed coming from fossil fuels, % of women in the board, % of water withdrawn coming from water-stressed areas, etc.



If you are focusing on qualitative impact, you should state the most important proven fact in your headline.

For instance, here are some qualitative headlines that are effectively synthesizing the impact described:


  • Brown-Forman being a member of alcohol lobbying groups puts public health at risk
  • Husqvarna’s Urban Green Space Index helps protect the world’s green spaces in urban cities


4. Add dates and locations when needed


If the impact described is focused on a certain area or period, it is a good practice to mention these.



For dates, we recommend putting it towards the end, but different formats can be used. A few examples :



  • Verizon’s data breach exposed over 6 million customer details in 2017; it continues to suffer data hacks

  • British American Tobacco generated 152,000 tonnes of waste in 2019




As for location, there are different ways to go about it. You can either talk about the nationality of people affected or specify the country. See below :



  • P&G expands its sustainable palm oil program to improve the livelihood of 50,000 Malaysian smallholders
  • ITC has 84% market share of cigarettes in India, where the burden of smoking-related deaths is high

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