Last Updated: June 27, 2021
The most important part of a story is the headline—it’s the first thing that captures a journalist’s attention. It decides if journalists will read and publish an article. This article examines why a press release headline is important and the various aspects of how to write one.
What Is a Headline in a Press Release?
A press release is an official announcement that provides information about you or your business. It reports a significant event or other news that you wish to share with the public. The purpose of these releases is to inform journalists and press members about any new developments in your company or business. Circulating a quality press release can raise awareness about your venture and help you build a better public image for your business.
The headline is the essence of a story contained in no more than 10 words and the deciding factor regarding the publication of the story. An eye-catching headline will convey the main information and entice an audience to continue reading the article. A good headline is memorable—it’s what makes a good first impression and presses you to continue reading.
Why Is the Press Release Headline Important?
A headline is important because it’s what journalists first notice when considering a story to determine if it is newsworthy. Press release titles are often sufficient enough for journalists to know if they are working with a story worth telling. The media, then, becomes engaged with the story you want to tell.
An attention-grabbing headline, once published, can also be used as a part of your marketing strategy; a good headline can affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and place your business near the top in browser searches. It’s also beneficial for the purpose of public relations (PR). A catchy newspaper headline might be noticed by other reporters and generate more publicity for your business in the form of radio or television interviews, newspaper articles, and other PR activity.
NOTE: A press release can help you manage a crisis and get ahead of the story. And if you’re not confident as to how to write one, you can utilize some of the best press release distribution services to help you.
How to Write a Press Release Headline
Headlines require time and attention. You need to meticulously select the right words that convey the key points of the story—words that will ensure the audience gets the right picture and keeps reading. After writing a press release, you can also learn how to write a white paper, but first, consider some other useful headline writing tips before beginning to write your headline:
Write As If Your Article Was on the Front Page
Imagine your headline on the front page of a newspaper. Would such a headline grab attention? If the headline isn’t attention-grabbing enough, you should consider rewriting it and transform it into an attention-getting headline. In this way, you enhance the chances of your article being published because a journalist will have a clear idea of what the article will look like in print.
Use Active Voice
Your writing technique is often a key feature for an article’s success. When writing a headline, never use the passive voice, since it makes the content less appealing to readers. The use of the active voice is a way to engage your audience and keep them reading.
Use Data or Stats
You shouldn’t be afraid to use any interesting statistics related to the article in the headline, as that can distinguish it from other, similar headlines.
Write the Headline Last
You don’t have to worry about the press release header before even starting to write the release. You should first write the body of the press release and then outline the most important features that you want to include in the headline.
Use Punctuation Effectively
Punctuation can make or break a headline. Utilizing the proper punctuation marks can provide clarity for the audience and attract readers to what seems to be an approachable story.
Ask Yourself: “Who Cares?”
To produce an effective headline, you need to consider if it grasps the attention of the reader. Focus on your targeted audience and make sure that your press release title is something they want to read.
Dos and Don’ts of Creating a Headline
Although there aren’t strict rules concerning headlines, if you look at some successful press release headline examples, you can identify some recurring features. Some headlines, however, don’t bode well with journalists and don’t garner a wide readership. You should try to avoid these if you want a successful headline. We’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts that will assist you in writing the best press release headlines.
Asking a question is something most attention-grabbing headlines have in common. This sparks curiosity and will activate your audience. They’ll want to move on to the content to get the answer to your question.
Numerals sometimes stand out better among words (or letters) and are more easily understood than spelled-out numbers. This is a great way to include stats in the headline.
By inserting a keyword in the headline, you ensure that it appears as a search result for the relevant topic. If you insert several keywords, you’ll have a headline that is relevant to a large number of queries.
Anticipate the audience’s intent
Great press release headlines try to serve their readers with headlines that will entice them to read the content.
Write Several Versions
Before submitting the final version of your headline, you should write several versions of it that try to convey the same meaning. Once you review all of your headlines, you’ll know which one suits your content best.
Make sure your headline stands out from the throng of headlines dealing with a similar topic. If the headline doesn’t stand out, it’s not likely that users will want to read the rest of the content.
Catchy news headlines don’t use the same word twice in one headline. And avoid using words that competitors have used for similar topics. Be innovative and come up with something different and unique.
Too Many Words
Readers don’t appreciate press release headlines that are too long, as they might seem to be too revealing. The headline should interest the reader and leave them wanting more.
Puns or Jargon
Puns and professional or street jargon might be lost on some readers, appearing unclear and confusing. Such words and expressions might be appreciated by a specific audience, but you shouldn’t risk turning away a significant portion of the established readership.
A sensational headline can harm your article if you don’t have the content to match it. Readers won’t appreciate the fact that your headline makes promises it cannot keep.
What Else Is Needed to Create an Eye-Catching Press Release Title?
The best press release headlines catch the reader’s attention and invoke maximum reader interest, just long enough for your audience to read the article. The catchiest titles also attract the highest expectations. Before writing a catchy title, make sure the quality of the content matches the headline.
The article has to be substantial, offering reliable information—so it can be reported without fear of spreading fake news.
What Is Covered and What Is Missing
Don’t create attention-grabbing titles only to realize later that what was said in the title is missing in the article. Make sure that each word of the headline makes sense to the reader once they’ve read the article.
Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are frowned upon. Proofread your work before its widespread release and make sure that the structure and content are flawless.
NOTE: Writing press releases is one of the pillars of marketing. It’s been around since the conception of marketing. But if you’re new to this world, and you’ve been tasked with writing a press release and have no idea how to write it, you can learn how to write a press release here.
If you’re still unsure what a press release headline should look like, take a look at these press release title examples:
- NEW GLOBAL LISTENER CHART SET TO TRANSFORM PODCASTING
Here is a great example of how to market a new platform without having to add context. The word ‘NEW’ indicates that this Frogtwistr product is worth mentioning in the news. Additionally, the promise to ‘TRANSFORM PODCASTING’ sparks interest, since podcasts have frequently been in the news over the past few years. This press release headline format is great for marketing new and exciting products or services.
- LOS ANGELES MAN LAUNCHES INFLATABLE RAMP AFTER PARALYSIS This pump-up press release is aimed at the Los Angeles business media—this is why the city needs to be mentioned in the header. This press release headline works on multiple levels: it adds a human element to a business article; ‘INFLATABLE RAMP’ is an unusual collocation and sparks curiosity, making readers wish to see pictures; the addition of ‘AFTER PARALYSIS’ explains why someone would resort to launching something as bizarre as an inflatable ramp.
- BRITISH BROTHERS SET WORLD RECORD FOR ROWING ATLANTIC OCEAN
This headline is remarkable for the amount of information it offers in just nine words. The article is aimed at the national media, but even without reading one sentence of the article, we already know that it’s about two siblings. The second piece of information we get is that they broke the world rowing record, followed by the last piece of info: they broke this record crossing the Atlantic Ocean. This is what good headlines for newspaper articles should look like.
Why Learn to Create Eye-Catching Headlines?
Good press release headlines are indicative of high-quality content and are the main factor that prompts an audience to read an article. If you want to attract a wider readership and, more importantly, have people come back to your articles, you need to take the time to write the best possible headlines.
You can follow some of these aforementioned tips to help in the process of writing your headline. And you should write more than one headline for the same article to see what works best. By successfully writing an eye-catching headline, you will ensure that your article—and the rest of your content—gets the attention it deserves.
The first thing you need to do is define the most important aspect of the product you’re advertising. The workaround that one component and make it the centerpiece of your headline while keeping in mind your target audience.
Good newspaper headline ideas have to revolve around the audience. When writing a newspaper headline, use adjectives to show an emotional component. You might also make a promise to the audience in the headline—readers will visit the content to see if the promise has been kept.
The press release headline should contain no more than 100 to 110 characters, including spaces. It’s even better, however, if you keep your headlines down to 65 characters since this is the number of characters Google uses on their search engine when displaying the results of your search.