How To Use Numbers To Improve Press Release Headlines

Numbers can improve press release headlines in a range of ways. The first is that numbers inspire confidence. Numbers provide fact, rather than opinions. They also indicate that the release will be a genuine press release, rather than an ad.


The second reason is that numbers indicate what to expect from an article. If it says “5 tips on how to choose the right fencing contractor,” the reader will expect 5 tips. They will read the release because they want to learn something. They will also know that the release is not going to be overly long and take up too much of their time in reading it.

People also like statistics. Hard numbers inspire confidence that what they are reading is true. Numbers also add interest and sometimes even shock value. For example, if you see a headline that says “2 out of 3 Americans are obese,” that can be much more impactful than saying “the majority of Americans are obese.” Numbers are much more specific and therefore provide more useful information.

Another reason numbers can be more effective is that they get to the heart of the story right away. “X Company raises $25m in funding,” or “Google turns 18, still #1,” both give hard facts and a grasp of the story quickly. In the first case, the story would then go on to tell about how the funds were raised. In the case of the second story, the release would provide information about how Google is still the top search engine in the world, despite competition over the 18 years it has been in business.

Numbers compare and contrast as well, also adding interest to an article. “Clinton wins the debate over Trump 63% to 27% in CNN poll,” gives us a clear idea of what to expect when we read the release, namely, that CNN polled people and the majority favored Clinton’s performance in the first debate. We would then expect facts to back this up, such as the number of people surveyed, when and where, and who they were: Democrats, Republicans, or undecided voters.

“34% of undecided voters now favor Clinton, 16% Trump,” is another good example of comparison and contrast.  It does, of course, mean that 50% are still undecided. We can also see from this example how impactful numbers can be. “50% of undecided voters are still undecided” is actually true, but dull. “34% of undecided voters swing towards Clinton” is a much more interesting headline.

“Using media in press releases makes them 75% more likely to be picked up,” is also factually true and shows the power of numbers to influence reader behavior. “New marketing technique gives 436% better ROI, study shows” would also make people eager to read it to learn more.

Numbers are concrete, specific, measurable, and give a reassurance that the facts in the press release are true. They also show benchmarks and achievements: “200k+ attend Avon Breast Cancer walk, raise $220m”

If you aren’t already using numbers in your press releases, start adding them and see what a difference they can make.

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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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