Press releases tend to be dry.
They’re not meant to be filled with fluffy marketing language. They’re supposed to deliver pertinent information to journalists: who, what, where, when, why.
However, that doesn’t mean your headline has to follow a dull formula. If you don’t write something with pizazz, your press release won’t go far.
On average, eight out of 10 people will read your headline, but only two will read the text.
Here are a few tips for transforming a headline from mundane to memorable:
1. Keep it short and sweet. Search engines showcase the first 70 characters of your headline, and a character count of 55 seems to produce the highest clickthrough rate on Google. Is there a magic number? Not really, but err on the safer and shorter side.
2. Alliteration is your ally. Newspapers have long used alliterations to draw in readers. Global gamesmanship. Community cares. Friends feud. When possible, use alliteration in your headline to attract your audience.
3. Use powerful words to communicate the key aspect of your news. Think about the news from your audience’s perspective. Why should they care? What will entice them to read more? Rather than, Organization X holds annual fundraising event, how about, Organization X raises 20% more money to benefit Houston community. Not only are you giving your readers more details, but it also seems more newsworthy. A fundraising record was broken, rather than an annual event was held—again, as it is every year. Yawn.
When in doubt, you can run your headline through an online analyzer tool. It’ll give you a score based on readability, SEO and sentiment.
Kristen Quinn is the public relations director at Paige PR.