When writing a press release, even experienced PR pros can get tripped up.
Crafting a good headline can be a real struggle. Creating a world-class headline can feel impossible.
We reached out to some of the industry’s top experts in PR, marketing and social media and asked them this one simple question: What is your No.1 proven tip for writing a press release headline?
Here’s what they said:
1. Matt Kovacs
There needs to be a sense of shock and awe as media are deluged with press releases, pitches and alerts every day. It’s important to ensure that there is a mix of “what’s the news” along with a catchiness that gets the reader to go beyond the headline, sub-head and first paragraph. In the Twitter-soundbite-world we live in, the words used need to give the reader pause to catch up to the overall thoughts that are being conveyed.
Matt Kovacs is President of California-based Blaze PR, which specializes in integrated PR, marketing, influencer and social media strategies.
2. Samantha Jacobs
When it comes to formulating a press release headline, think about what your main message is for the announcement. It’s not uncommon for a journalist to receive thousands of emails a day so you need to be clear and concise – because they may only see that first line. On the other hand, creative and attention-grabbing headers prove to get longer reads and in turn, more engagement and coverage. A balance of both fact and fun makes for a well-received headline.
Samantha Jacobs is the founder Hemsworth Communications, a PR agency that specializes in the travel and leisure industry.
3. Liz Burke
When deciding on a headline, try to put yourself in the mindset of a journalist and ask yourself why a journalist would care about the topic of your press release. The reason itself could be the critical element needed in the headline to capture the attention of the journalist. Reasons could include a popular industry trend, a controversial topic, a new innovation or an important development within the journalist’s beat and/or regional or local coverage area.
Liz Burke is VP of account services for digital marketing firm Didit.
4. Paul Furiga
Would I read this headline if it popped up as the subject line of an email on my smartphone? Why (is this my favorite tip)? Because this is where the journalists and influencers you want to reach will first see that headline. If the headline doesn’t grab you so that it would stand out among a sea of unread emails on the small screen of a smartphone, you’ve lost the press release battle before it’s even begun.
Paul Furiga is President and CEO of Pittsburgh-based WordWrite Communications.
5. Gini Dietrich
First, use data and statistics. These instantly set a tone of credibility and speak to the specific information the journalist can learn more about in the release. Or, answer the top question you expect journalists to ask about the topic. Speak directly to the questions and then answer it in the release. A news release headline isn’t any different than any other type of headline. Your goal is to draw the journalist in and get them to bite, so to speak. It should be compelling, engaging and speak to their needs.