3 Effective Press Release Headline Formats

There are many different types of headlines, but three in particular stand out as being more successful than others. Everyone is very busy these days, so content which is ‘snackable’, that is, easy to read in a very short space of time and still get a lot out of the release, works well.


Three top formats to try are:

  1. Top tips headlines
  1. List headlines
  1. Question headlines

Every headline should be viewed as a promise of things to come. Let’s look at why each of these 3 formats is so effective.

Top tips headlines

Top tips headlines promise just that, a number of top tips from a presumed expert that will make the reader’s life better or easier in some way. They imply these are the best ways to accomplish a particular task. Examples include:

  • 10 top tips for choosing a fencing contractor
  • 5 top tips for maintaining your swimming pool all year round
  • 7 Best Ways to Write a Winning Resume

Note the title of this blog post: 3 Effective Press Release Headline Formats

Readers love the # tips format because they are quick and easy to read and they can scan through them easily and learn at least a couple, if not all 10, ways to accomplish a particular task.

This formula also makes it easy for the writer. If you promise 10, deliver 10, and vice versa. Write your press release first, then state the number of top tips you will be offering.

List headlines

Readers love lists because they are packed full of ideas in an easy to read format. Lists are also snackable, in a fast-reading format.

  • The Top 10 social media sites in the world-and why you should be on all of them
  • Top 10 gifts to give your guy this Christmas
  • 10 Great Gifts Your Gal will Love to Get this Valentine’s Day
  • Top 10 box-office winners in 2016
  • 10 big winners, 10 big losers at the 2016 Emmys

The reader may not agree with the ideas being the top 10, but they will certainly be entertained by and interested in the release thanks to the headline.

Question Headlines

Question headlines can work well to pique the interest of readers provided that they are not overdone and can be answered in other ways than Yes or No.

  • Should you forget Facebook?
  • Is it time to outsource your press releases?
  • Are you getting the best ROI from your press release distribution service?
  • Are you sabotaging yourself with these rookie resume mistakes?
  • Is your website really mobile-friendly?

Asking the question gives them something to think about. It will therefore give the reader an incentive to read your first paragraph at the very least in order to learn more. The Facebook headline, for example, might lead to an article that concludes yes, no, or maybe, with supporting examples. If yes, it might discuss the pros and cons and why some people dismiss Facebook as a marketing tool.

Every press release headline is a promise that needs to grab attention and offer a promise. Try these three formats and see what a difference they make to your media pickups.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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