A press release is a public relations strategy that involves writing a brief communication about your business activities and sharing it with the media. There are hundreds of press releases released daily. But most of them don’t get picked up by the media and very few are read by the intended audience.
Before a media outlet decides to publish a press release, they analyze it to see if it will interest their readers. With so much content released daily, your press release must be captivating to get a journalist’s attention. One of the best ways to get attention is to write a riveting press release headline.
80 percent of people read headlines but only 20 percent continue to read the whole article. So a successful press release headline will have a headline that communicates your intended message while enticing people to read the rest of the article. Read on for our top tips on how to write a press release headline that gets you the largest amount of readership.
The first tip for writing a press release headline is to make it short and sweet. Readers get bored by long and rambling headlines. Additionally, search engines cut headings off after one hundred characters due to formatting. So try to convey your press release message in a headline that has fewer than 100 characters.
This will make your text look and perform better in search engines which can attract more readers. Shorter headlines are also easier to share on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The short length allows users to add their comments to your headline before sharing the press release with their followers.
Another great press release headline tip is to write an authoritative headline. You can do this by using active voice rather than passive. Additionally, use hard data and statistics in your headline to make it sound credible. For instance, “Company X gets $10 Million in funding from 3 Angel Investors” is more engaging than “A lot of funding gets secured by Company X”.
Human beings get moved by feelings and emotions so elicit some emotional reactions with your headline. Certain words like “amazing”, “secrets”, “shocking” and “free” trigger engagement from readers when added to the headline. Don’t make the mistake of injecting soulless copy into your release.
You should also add some humor to your headline when appropriate. Double entendres are a time-tested journalistic tip used to grab readers’ attention. Humor makes a company relatable to its audience as it shows that you don’t take yourself seriously.
This headline writing tip creates a bit of controversy. Some writers believe that you should write the headline first to set the tone of the article. If your headline isn’t engaging, no one will read the rest of your well-crafted article.
But we advocate writing the headline last. Only after writing your article will you have a complete understanding of the message you want to convey. It will then be easy for you to write a short and sweet headline that summarizes your article.
Whatever method you follow, make sure you edit your headline last so that it can be sure to convey the article’s message.
Another great tip to write a press release headline is to use trends to increase interest in your content. For example, if there is a new software that is making waves in your industry and there is a way you can work it into your headline then try and do so. If there is a popular figure in your sphere that can speak at an event you are promoting, make sure you mention it in your headline.
Additionally, use the language and hashtags that are popular with your industry. A word like “target” may mean one thing in the security industry and something else in the dating industry. So be sure to use the correct terms for your industry.
If you want a certain publication to publish your press release, write it using their editorial style. For instance, the Wall Street Journal has a different style of writing from People magazine. If you write a very formal press release a tabloid won’t want to publish it. Also, if teenage girls are your intended audience you need to write your press release differently from one intended for middle-aged men.
To create the best press release headline formats, you must test out different ones to know what works. The first test subject would be yourself. If you feel that your headline is boring, then your audience will probably skip through it. Only release headlines that you find engaging.
Secondly, use free headline analyzers to gauge how interesting your headline is. You can find several free headline analyzers such as Coschedule or Sharethrough by doing a google search.
For each of your press releases, write several versions of the headline and test them out with colleagues as well as outsiders. Use the headlines that get the best engagement. If your headline provokes confused or negative reactions, then drop it and write a different one.
For your press release to do well on the internet, it must meet search engine requirements. Your article should appear on the first page of search results for keywords in your subject area. Ensure this happens by optimizing your press release for search engines.
For instance, place keywords at the start of your headline so that your article can get picked up on search results for those words. Additionally, use simple words and phrases as search engines know that people like reading simple articles. Add pictures and video to your article as this will improve the performance of your article on a search engine.
Consistently use the tips above when writing press releases and your media coverage will soon see an improvement. Don’t give up if your initial press releases flop. Public relations is a long-term business strategy that requires sustained relationship-building effort.
Continue working on your press release headling and looking for ways to make your press releases more interesting to your audience. If you’re ready to take advantage of the benefits of press releases for your business, check out our PR distribution services here.