The average journalist receives over 200 emails, media alerts and press releases EACH DAY.
A recent study discovered that the time spent reviewing each press release is less than 60 seconds!
Your headline (which should also be your email subject line) can be THE deciding factor in getting you coverage. This means it is essential that your press materials always begin with a compelling and informative headline.
We’re experts at writing headlines and stories that cut through the clutter in a journalists inbox. Below are our top 5 tips for you to make sure yours do too!
Make It Clear And Concise
Keep your headline short and snappy. Don’t add any unnecessary fluff or try to explain the whole release in the headline. The purpose of the headline is to entice the receiver to read on, not to tell them the complete story.
The easiest way of doing this is to write the story first and then decide what is the most newsworthy theme for your headline.
Adopt An Active Voice
Wherever possible, use an active voice in your headlines. A passive voice is vague and makes it difficult to inspire or engage the reader. Sentences in active voice are also more concise than those in passive voice because fewer words are required to express action (as shown below).
Active: Researchers prove that low-carb diets result in early death Passive: It is believed by some researchers that low-carb diets could contribute to early death
If you have data or stats include them in your headline as they will give your story authority. Stats, in general, will strengthen your pitch and journalists crave them! Saying ‘10 reasons why’ will always carry more weight than ‘Several reasons why’ in a headline.
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Tap Into The Power Of Punctuation
The use of the colon punctuation is always a great option for headlines, allowing you to have a snappy subject line along with a brief supporting line, separating two thoughts of equal weight.
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Using power words helps to elicit a strong emotional reaction from the reader. Before creating your headline, do some research into the words that are the most effective at grabbing your readers attention.
Some awesome examples include ‘exclusive’, ‘shocking’, ‘amazing’, ‘proven’, ‘free’ and ‘breakthrough’.
When it comes to creating a story that sells, the success ultimately comes down to a headline that sticks. This is why we believe that the headline is just as important as the story itself and quality time should be invested to make sure that it pops.
If you have any other tips to share or a headline you’d like some feedback on, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.