How to Write a Headline That Grabs a Reporter’s Attention

Your content has a specific goal. Whether it’s a blog post, an email pitch, or a press release, when you’re writing to grab a reporter’s attention, it is important to know what they look for and what matters to them. The following tips and ideas will help you get the media attention that you want for your content by leveraging the power of your headline.


Use Data, Numbers, and Facts – Reporters and journalists need facts to back up their content. Data in your press release headline will almost always grab a reporter’s attention because it’s relevant to their research and will help them write a story. Additionally, it’s an immediate indication that there will be further data and information in your press release.

Use Active Voice – Active voice is always easier to read and understand. And, generally speaking, active voice uses fewer words. With active voice, the subject of your sentence is doing the action. For example, “a headline that grabs a reporter’s attention.” The subject of the sentence, headline, is doing the action, it is grabbing. If this were written in passive voice it would read, “the reporter’s attention is being grabbed by a headline.” The words “being” and “by” are good indicators of passive voice.

Make Your Headline as Concise as Possible – Long and wordy headlines are overwhelming and are often overlooked. Shorter headlines tend to grab more attention, particularly if they contain compelling information. Make your headline as specific and concise as possible. Work to eliminate unnecessary words. For example, “how to write a headline that grabs a reporter’s attention,” could be further reduced by saying, “Headlines that grab media attention.”

Be Creative – Yes, your press release has to be newsworthy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be creative. They’re not mutually exclusive. Creativity and some ingenuity capture attention. They give the journalist or media representative something unique to write about.

Leverage Bold and Visual Language – There are many different ways to say the same thing. Choose the words that give your reader the strongest reaction. For example, you can say “the students learned the new material” or you can say they “devoured” it. Scientists can be excited or they can be astonished. Explore how different words can make your headline stand out.

Make Sure They Care – Above all else, make sure that the information in your headline is something that your audience will care about. It needs to be relevant and valuable to your reader, whether that reader is a buyer or a reporter. Ask yourself “why would they care?” – and if you can’t come up with an answer, then it’s not the right headline.

Writing headlines isn’t easy. It takes practice and a lot of work. It’s worth the time and effort. A good headline can get you the traffic and attention you need from your content. It can help you grow your business and your bottom line.

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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