Best Cover Lines, Headlines or Subject Lines

Ball Aerospace pumps up its intranet with terse, energetic headlines

Ball editors design their intranet, the News@Ball Front Page, to display simple department headings followed by three or four bulleted stories, features, and blogs.

Front Page - Logo -

Ball Aerospace editors aim at the convenience of employee readers. The News@Ball Front Page is dramatic, attractive, and readable. That’s why Ball’s intranet wins top honors in the Best Cover Lines, Headlines, or Subject Lines category of Ragan’s 2013 Employee Communications Awards.

Here’s how far Ball editors go to get readability and simplicity, simplicity, simplicity on the Front Page: They don’t use subheads for their story and feature headlines. They write bulleted heads without teasers.

An exception to that rule appears in the upper right-hand corner, where the top three most current news stories all get a headline and a blurb to lure viewers to read more. Example:

Employees thwart out-of-place 
‘foreign visitor’ … Would you?

It started with “John Doe,” Joint Strike 
Fighter test lead at our Aerospace 
Manufacturing Center, who noticed some-
thing was wrong in his lab that afternoon.

There’s no nameplate or masthead on the Front Page. One other exception to the no-teaser rule: A big illustration/photo from NASA dominates the upper left-hand corner and rates a headline and a blurb of its own; otherwise, it’s just bulleted heads and more bulleted heads. 

Readers don’t have to squint at small, crowded type and busy-ness on the Front Page. It’s elegant, clear, and easy to read, while it sells each story instantly with an offbeat or interesting headline that sums up the article.

The editors ask of every story they run, “Does our story answer the question, ‘What’s In It For Me?’ for our employees?” Every story must pass that test.

The final test: Do employees read and respond more? The editors answer: “Yes. The number of employee comments on each page, as well as our intranet metrics, show that employees feel better informed about the business and more connected to Ball by reading the Front Page.”

Congratulations to the Ball Aerospace & Technologies communications staff members: Teresa Rehme, David Beachley, Mary Blake, Tina Crist, Ken Hutchinson, Tom King, Kathleen Pitre, David Rice, and Kendall Storaci.


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