Picture of a metal fish hook with a fishing line on a blue background. Image is used for a Newswire blog post about attention-grabbing news hooks.

Scroll-Stopping News Hooks

News hooks are what grab the media’s attention enough to want to learn more. So how do you develop an attention-grabbing hook for your next press release?

It starts with your headline. 

Your headline is the hook that tells readers what to expect.

In fact, the average internet user will read 80 percent of headlines.

Think of it as a first impression. 

If a reader is intrigued by your headline, they’ll likely click to learn more. If the headline falls flat, they’ll keep scrolling.

But, let’s not forget, a headline is more than just a title for a piece of content. 

A headline is a promise to readers of what they can expect to learn once they click.

Give your content its best chance at reaching your target audience by reading through our tips and news story examples below. 

Pique Curiosity 

A news story that’s captured people’s attention is the possible TikTok ban in the United States. 

Here are two headlines:

Lawmakers unveil bipartisan bill that aims to ban TikTok in the U.S. CNBC

The potential ban is major news, especially for the approximately 66 million people in America who use the app on a monthly basis. 

Though this headline addresses the facts. It’s a bit wordy and not that exciting. Plus, it essentially gives the Cliff’s Notes version without readers having to click. 

TIP: You want your headlines to give people just enough information that they have to click to get the full picture. 

Is TikTok a National Security Risk?The Wall Street Journal

This has more of a hook. 

Using a question as your headline instantly piques readers’ curiosity. 

And, using words like “National Security Risk” makes people want to click so they can see for themselves. 

Both headlines served a purpose and while facts matter, piquing people’s curiosity is an excellent way to capture attention. 

Play on Emotion

This year, especially, the royal family was in the public eye because of the Queen’s passing and the drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan. 

This month, a highly-anticipated Netflix documentary about Harry and Meghan’s lives premiered. 

It’s a hotly debated topic and one that has people’s attention in a headlock. 

Here are two headlines about the documentary.

A Body Language Expert Says Prince Harry Is “Uncomfortable” and “Gearing for a Fight” in That Buzzy New Trailer Yahoo! Lifestyle

It’s Meghan and Harry’s story but the real drama is about the royals’ futureThe Guardian 

Both address the topic, but the first headline offers a bit more detail that plays to emotions. 

Body language speaks volumes and highlighting that a body language expert noticed nuances that point to certain feelings/emotions will likely encourage people to click.

Not to mention, readers will likely want to know…

What actions led to these claims?

Did the body language expert notice anything else?

The second headline, on the other hand, is a bit bland and echoes everyone’s thinking. 

Will the Harry and Meghan drama ever end? How will the royal family move forward?

Include Numbers

These days, we all move a mile a minute. When we’re searching for answers, we want them immediately. 

Headlines that include numbers feed this need.

By knowing the exact number of tips or ideas included in a piece of content, readers will be more apt to click.

Let’s see this tip in action:

Top digital marketing trends and predictions for 2023 thinkwithgoogle.com

16 marketing trends and strategies for 2023asana.com

Both pieces of content are focused on marketing in 2023, however, the second title tells the user exactly how many trends and strategies they can expect to learn about in the article. 

If I had to guess, you, like me, would click on the second title.

Numbers are enticing and show the reader your content will be easy to scan.

If you need help developing attention-grabbing news hooks, our team can help. Contact us today!

Maria Marchewka is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Newswire. Maria is an experienced copywriter, social media marketer, content creator, strategist, and project manager. Her firm belief in being a practitioner and not a preacher of marketing concepts has put her in a position to help companies build brand awareness and connect with their target audiences online.

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