Like most of you, I am often besieged while browsing the web by those click-bait article titles that I know are misleading, yet I can’t help clicking. You know, you’re minding your own business, trying to figure out exactly what Jennifer Aniston’s teeth whitening routine consists of, and in the margins you see something along the lines of,
“We are shocked at the list of celebrities who have died this year!” next to a picture of, say, Tom Hanks.
“No!” you exclaim. “Not Forrest! Say it ain’t so, Woody! We barely knew ye, Larry Crowne.”
<CLICK> . . . Humph, I say!
Tom Hanks is nowhere on this list! Neither is anyone you have ever heard of (not to detract from the weight of any celebrity death, whether they are A-list or, as far as you know, non-existent.)
While this this can be frustrating, I have decided it might also be useful. As someone who often writes and distributes technical reports that few people actually want to read, I need to use this strategy at work.
Say I’m getting ready to send out a report, I’ll just use a subject line like:
“You’ll never believe the things that have been found in the break room fridge. (#4 will change the way you look at lunch meat forever!)”
“Is there a large stack of cash hidden somewhere in the warehouse?? Click here to find out.”
“We pay tribute to the colleagues who have contracted athletes’ foot from the work showers (#7 is just heartbreaking)”
“The folks who wrote the 1976 milestone report are unrecognizable today.”
“Jim from logistics shares some behind-the-scenes drama from the fiscal year crunch”
“Vending machine hacks we can’t get enough of.”
“Over 100 office supplies are getting the axe in 2021. Is your favorite on the list?!”
“Remember Retiree Tim Johnson from the 2007 Holiday Party? Try not to gasp when you see him now.”
Yeah – this is gonna work!