I lied. I’m not going to tell you how to become the richest person on earth. Sucks, doesn’t it?
But what I did is no different than what I’m unfortunately seeing on a regular basis with other press releases, blog posts, emails, and so on.
A great press release headline sucks the reader in. It grabs the attention of the reporter and makes him (or her) want to find out more about your story. And if the rest of your press release delivers on the promise of your headline, you’re golden. Of course, that’s a big if for some people. See, some of you reading this are headline liars.
That’s right, I called you a liar.
Look, we live in an age where our audiences are bombarded with more content and more distractions than ever before. We need any edge we can get to stand apart from all the noise, even if just for a moment. So, sometimes, some of us stretch the truth a little bit in our headlines with the hope that it will get the story noticed and earn some coverage. It’s just a little white lie, right?
The problem with making a promise in your headline that you don’t deliver on in your story is that it instantly kills your credibility. Fool a reporter once and you’re done forever. Anything you say going forward won’t be believed. So is it really worth trying to pull a fast one when you’re running the risk of ruining your reputation and burning bridges permanently?
The fact is that if you have to come up with a misleading headline, then your story isn’t that good to begin with. So instead of trying to put a pile of garbage in a nice, pretty package, try to come up with a story angle that’s so compelling your headline will practically write itself. That’s how you’ll get the kind of attention you really want.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of Grammar Geek’s Guide to Writing Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/grammar.html