Five Steps For Writing A Good Press Release Headline

There are many different approaches to writing a press release headline. Each writer is likely to have their own process. Some, for example, don’t write the headline until the end. They write the headline after the entire press release has been written because then they know exactly what it’s about. Others write the headline first and then follow up with the content, making sure that the content follows through on what the headline promises.


Either approach is fine, and it’s more important to find a system that works for you. However, regardless of whether you’re a before or after writer, the steps for writing the headline remain the same. There are a series of questions you’ll need to ask to get from an idea to a good press release headline.

Question #1 What’s Your Press Release About?

In a nutshell, what is your press release about? Is it about a new product, an event, a new hire or some ground-breaking research? Write a quick sentence or two, or even a paragraph, that describes what your press release story is.

Question #2 What Is the News?

Now, looking at your description, ask yourself what is newsworthy about your press release? Ideally, you already know, but there can be more than one news angle here. For example, if you’re releasing new research on the healing powers of arnica gel, then the news might be that arnica heals wounds in half the time compared to wounds without arnica. Or the news might be that yours is the first research on arnica and wound healing. Consider writing down as many news angles as possible based on your description in question #1.

Question #3 What Will They Care About?

Now, looking at your list, what “news” will your audience care about? What impacts them? What changes their lives? What will they find interesting? If you find that you have more than one angle on your list that your audience will respond to, prioritize them. One will likely stand out above the others.

Question #4 How Can I Make This More Succinct?

Now you have your rough headline. Let’s say it’s “new research proves arnica reduces wound healing time by half.” The next step is to make the sentence as succinct as possible. Press release headlines aren’t meant to be long-winded. They need to get to the point in as few words as possible.

Question #5 How Can I Make This More Powerful and Compelling?

Once you’ve cut out any unnecessary words, it’s time to make sure you’re using the right words – the most powerful words. You may bounce back and forth between question #4 & #5 a few times until you get a headline that clicks. “Groundbreaking research shows arnica cuts wound healing time in half.”

Writing a good press release headline can take some time. Don’t be reluctant to step away from the process. Sometimes time away from the project can give you a clearer perspective. Don’t hurry though the headline writing process. It is the most important part of your press release.

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.

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy