How to Write a Small Business Press Release Headline

Getting your press release headline right is the most important part of your press release template and best way to ensure it gets noticed by reporters and read. Why? Because 4 out of 5 journalists abort after reading the headline. This article shares the seven key principles that will help make your press release heading appealing to journalists so that they choose to read on.

When your press release is written, you need to ensure that it’s distributed to the right reporters, bloggers and journalists. I recommend trying out eReleases, which you can use for the first time with a 30% discount.

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1. Less is More

Make your headline fit within 70 characters. eReleases has distributed hundreds of thousands of press releases and their analysis confirms that press release headlines that are less than 70 characters in length are more likely to lead to the press release itself being read. The more easily a busy reporter can understand what it’s about, the better it’s received.

an-image-which-illustrates-the-importance-of-a-good-press-release-headline

Shorter headlines and more likely to get read

2. Communicate Clearly

A good press release headline is simple, straightforward, reflects the content that follows and is based on facts. Avoid exaggerating or making promises in your headline that the press release then fails to deliver. You might trick a journo into reading the first time, but the next time they see a press release with your logo at the top, they’ll delete it before they even read the headline.

The best way to grab the attention of a good journo is to use integrity, write in plain English avoiding industry jargon and making you case using facts rather than fluffy adjectives.

It’s difficult to ensure that your headline is representative of the content that follows. I recommend trying out your draft headline on another member of your team. If they can accurately guess the story that will follow, then you’re on to a winner. If not, you need to go back to the drawing board.

3. Share Facts & Numbers

When reading what a stranger has to say, we all look for facts and numbers that help us to confirm that we are tuning in to a credible source. Reporters, bloggers and journos tend to do this more than most.

You may want to share some facts and numbers in your press release quote too. This way, even if your entire press release is not used, you may still get publicity by being quoted as an expert.

They also like to be able to use facts and stats themselves to add credibility to the story they go on to write themselves. If you can provide a fact upfront in your heading, then you are quickly tuning into the way the reporter’s mind works.

Press Release Headline Examples

For instance, instead of writing the following headline:

“Waterfront Café Experiences Big Uplift in Customers”

Meet the journalists need by writing the following headline instead:

“Waterfront Café Exceeds 5,000 Customers, up 55% Year-on-Year”

4. Arouse Curiosity & Interest

Think of your headline an a mini-story in itself. Can you paint a picture in the journalist’s mind that gets them clicking to learn more? For press release heading inspiration, it may be worth taking a look at press release examples from the pros.

Press Release Headline Examples

For instance, rather than writing the following headline:

“Waterfront Café Exceeds 5,000 Customers, up 55% Year-on-Year”

You could write the following headline instead:

“Waterfront Café’s 5,000 Customer Gets Free Coffee for Life”

5. Keep it Simple

Everyone always says “Keep it Simple Stupid” otherwise known as KISS. But what does this really mean? Well it’s a combination of things that combine to make something appear simple when the reality is that you have worked hard to achieve that seemingly effortless simplicity.

Using less words, avoiding jargon, painting a picture and representing the content that follows will all help. When combined well they combine simply and powerfully without the need to try to hard or over complicate things.

For instance, rather than writing the following headline:

Press Release Headline Examples

“Waterfront Café’s 5,000 Customer Gets Free Coffee for Life”

You could write the following headline instead:

“5,000th Customer Gets Free Waterfront Coffee for Life”

The difference may seem subtle, but it makes the difference between being able to take in the whole heading without the need to consciously read it.

6. Avoid Sales Pitches

Of course your ultimate goal is to get the name of your brand out there and attach positive messages to it to get new customers beating a path to your door. However, if your headline sounds like a sales pitch, journalists will naturally distrust this and most will run a mile.

So, you want to get your brand across, and of course you are really selling it, but it’s important that it doesn’t sound at all gimmicky or salesy. It’s also essential to the long-term reputation of your brand not to exaggerate or make any false claims that you cannot substantiate.

Press Release Headline Examples

For instance, rather than writing the following headline:

“5,000th Customer Gets the Best Coffee in Santa Barbara Free for Life”

You could write the following headline instead:

“5,000th Customer Gets Seaview Coffee Experience for Life”

If I were the journalist reading these two headlines, the first would make me suspicious. My gut immediately says this is probably far from true, and the content that follows will probably disappoint me so why bother progressing? But the second, would arouse my curiosity and I would want to go on to find out more about this Seaview Coffee Experience.

7. Proofread Before Distributing

I know what you are expecting me to say so this may surprise you – typos and grammatical errors do not necessarily stop a journo from reading on, but if you want them to take you seriously and view you as professional, then show then that you care about attention to detail.

The Juice Press

It’s easy to under-estimate the importance of a press release headline, especially for a little known small business. Though if you adopt the seven principles that I have shared above, you’ll increase your chances of getting your press release read and published.

Once you have finished writing your press release, you will need a cost-effective way to get it widely distributed to all the relevant reporters, bloggers and journalists, I recommend eReleases as the best press release distribution service for small business.

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