How to Write Press Release Headlines that Work

You put a lot of time, energy, and effort into writing your press release. Unfortunately, if the headline isn’t effective, all that time and energy can go to waste. The headline has the job of grabbing attention and motivating your potential readers to click and read. Whether your readers are the media, your target audience, your customers or some other group, the headline must appeal to them and get the job done.


So how do you write press release headlines that accomplish your primary initial objective? Let’s look at a few proven tips, tactics, and strategies.

#1 Be Concise

With articles, blog posts, reports, and even books and other information products, you can write long titles or headlines and can even have a descriptive and engaging subheading. That’s not the case with a press release headline. Generally, you have just a few short words to get your point across.

Not everyone is able to write succinctly. Here’s a tip… Write your headline first without worrying about being succinct. Just write what you want to say. Then start cutting. What words can you eliminate? How can you say the same thing with more descriptive or powerful words? Pare down the headline until it is under ten words.

Here’s an example:

Headline Before: XYZ Website Reviews the Very Best Family Movies of the Summer

Headline After: The Best Summer Movies for Families – Reviewed
#2 Know Why They Should Care

Why should your reader care about your headline? What information are you sharing, or what news are you announcing that impacts their life? This requires you to consider two key things:

  • What is your news? What do you want to share with the reader and is it relevant to them? If not, then start over. Think about what your story or hook really is and work your headline and press release from that angle. Keep in mind that the world doesn’t really care that Bob in accounting got a promotion or that you have a new product being launched next week. They care how that information impacts them. That’s the information that you should include in your headline.
  • What words will your reader connect with? Use language that will resonate with your reader. This can take some time and a clear understanding of your audience. What words would they use to search for your information? Include those words in the headline. For example, if they’re searching for best summer movies for families then those keywords should be in the headline.

#3 Know What You Want to Achieve

Finally, make sure you have goals for your press release and that you test and track those goals. For example, if your objective for a press release is to increase opens/reads then testing and tracking that information can tell you how well your headline is working. Know what your audience responds to and adapt your press release headline writing style to suit it.

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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