5 Examples Of Attention Grabbing Press Release Headlines

One of the main aspects of a successful press release is an attention grabbing headline. There are a number of tricks to writing a highly-performing headline that will get media contacts, such as journalists and niche bloggers, to read more and perhaps even run with your story. Think front page news and excitement. Here are 5 examples, and the reasons why they work well. Some work better than others.


1- Southwest flight makes emergency landing after engine fails!

This is a clear and factual headline that gives a lot of information about what happened. It tells who, what and why. The airline is Southwest, an emergency landing occurred, and the reason for it was engine failure.

2- 737 engine explodes during flight!

If we compare this headline to the one above, it is more dramatic, with less detail. We find out the make of the plane, a 737, which is not necessarily an important detail compared to what airline, as in example 1. The verb explodes is very dramatic. During the flight also captures a sense of the unexpected and some real drama. There’s no information about the emergency landing, so it leaves you in suspense and wondering what happened next. Did the plane crash? Was anyone hurt? The verb explodes is also highly visual and gives us a clear mental image of something major happening to the plane.

3- Florida-bound Southwest flight diverted by engine problem.

This headline is a lot less dramatic, and once again gives slightly different details about the exact same event. This time we find out the plane was heading to Florida. The verb diverted isn’t very exciting. It is also a rather formal word compared to, for example, re-routed. The phrase engine problem is also a lot less dramatic than ‘explodes’.

4- ‘ALMOST UNHEARD OF’ – Southwest plane engine falls apart mid-flight!

The quotation at the front tries to make the event seem more shocking and potentially interesting. The verb falls apart is interesting, though certainly not as sensational as the verb explodes. Mid-flight gives a good idea of how sudden the event was.

We can see from these 4 examples that choice of words is key to making an impact on the reader and that some headlines can be much more exciting than others.

5- TITLE Soars to #1 on the Amazon Kindle TOPIC Bestseller’s List!

This is typical of the kind of in-house headline generated by many businesses that are trying to sell more products. It isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t really tell us why we should care. The title of the book can help, as can the topic.

The MIND Diet Recipe Book Soars to #1 on the Amazon Kindle Healthy Cooking Bestseller’s List gives us more information. There are several keywords, Diet, Recipe, Book and Healthy Cooking that could capture the attention of any reader interested in those topics. The verb soars suggests it is:

a- a brand new book to get on the list, and

b- it got to the top of the list very quickly.

The headline also tells people where to get the book, through the Amazon website, and that it is an ebook, because it is being sold through the Kindle program. The only thing we are left wondering and want to learn more about is the word MIND, which obviously stands for something.

All of these examples clearly illustrate that any headline you write should be packed with important information and well-chosen words that give you enough detail and interest to want to learn more. Practice writing headlines and see if you can come up with ones that will get your press releases read more often.

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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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