You've got some big news and you want to share it with the world. What's the best way to spread the word about your company's latest product launch or milestone? A press release, of course!
But before you sit down to craft the full press release, you need to come up with an attention-grabbing headline. The headline is the first thing journalists and readers will see about your news, so you've got to make it count.
Here are the steps to write a winning press release headline that will have journalists and readers eager to read all about your big announcement!
What Is a Press Release and Why Write One?
A press release is a written statement distributed to media outlets to generate news coverage about your company or product. Writing and distributing an attention-grabbing press release is a great way to raise brand awareness, boost visibility, and drive more traffic to your website.
Why Write a Press Release?
There are several benefits to publishing a press release:
- Gain media exposure. Press releases are picked up by journalists, bloggers, and media outlets looking for news stories. Getting featured in these publications increases exposure for your brand.
- Improve search engine rankings. Press releases contain keywords and phrases that search engines like Google use to rank websites and content. Publishing press releases on your website and distributing them to other sites helps boost your search engine optimization (SEO).
- Build authority and credibility. Being featured in media publications makes you seem more credible and authoritative in your industry. It helps establish your brand as a leader and expert.
- Drive more traffic. When other websites publish or link to your press release, it drives referral traffic back to your site. This additional traffic means more potential customers and clients.
- Stay top of mind. Press releases keep your company in the minds of journalists, bloggers, and current and potential customers. They raise brand awareness and help ensure people don't forget about your business.
To achieve the maximum impact, a press release needs to be attention-grabbing. It should have an eye-catching headline, focus on newsworthy information, provide useful quotes from company executives, use an engaging and compelling writing style, and have a clear call-to-action. Distribute your press release on newswire services, help a reporter out day, and pitch it to targeted media contacts.
With some effort, you can write and share an effective press release that achieves your goals and garners the type of media coverage your company deserves. Keep at it and stay consistent to build real momentum and brand authority over time.
What’s the ideal press release format?
A good press release should contain:
- An attention-grabbing headline with a news angle
- An informative and engaging first paragraph with the key details
- A quote from a company spokesperson commenting on the news
- Brief background on the company, product, service or event
- Facts and statistics to support key messages
- A call to action for media or readers
- Boilerplate company description
- Contact information for the media to follow up
- A list of key facts, milestones or timeline (if relevant)
- Visual assets like logos, images, charts or video (if available)
Following this format will result in a press release that achieves your PR goals and meets both media and reader needs.
How to Write a Press Release Headline
To grab attention for your press release, look at examples of other compelling press releases for inspiration. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to write good press release headlines:
Highlight What’s New or Different
Communicate what’s new, improved or different about your news. For example, “Announcing the Next Generation of...” or “New and Improved Formula for...” Journalists want to know right away what’s novel or groundbreaking.
Focus on Benefits
Convey the key benefits or solutions your news offers. For example, “Save Time and Increase Productivity with New App” or “End Insomnia Naturally with Proven Technique”. Benefit-focused headlines resonate most with readers.
Use Power Words
Words like revolutionary, incredible, amazing, etc. create excitement. But only use them if what you’re announcing truly warrants such a description. Otherwise, it may come across as an empty claim.
- Announcing, Introducing
Let your audience know you have something new to share. For example, “Announcing the Launch of Our Brand New Product!” or “Introducing the Latest Innovation in Our Industry.”
- Free, New, Improved, Ultimate
Words like these signal value, novelty or advancement. For instance, “The New and Improved Widget 2.0 — Now With 50% More Power” or “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started in Our Field.”
- Secrets, Little-Known, Untold
Mystery and intrigue are always attention-grabbing. Try “The Untold Story of How We Built Our Business” or “Secrets to Success: Little-Known Strategies From Industry Leaders.”
- Warning, Alert, Breaking News
For time-sensitive or urgent news, choose words that convey importance or immediacy. Some options include “Alert: Deadline for New Regulations Approaching Fast” or “Breaking News: Game-Changing Partnership Announced Today.”
- You, Your
Speaking directly to your audience forges an instant connection. Headlines like “How This New Program Will Transform Your Business” or “The #1 Threat Facing Your Company Right Now” are engaging and impactful.
- Numbers, Stats, Facts
Back up your headline with concrete facts and figures. For example, “10 Ways We Improved Efficiency and Cut Costs by 50%” or “New Study Shows Product X Increases Performance by 75%.”
Press Release Distribution Tips and Tricks
Once you’ve crafted an attention-grabbing press release, it’s time to distribute it to maximize exposure. Here are some tips and tricks to get your news in front of the right journalists and media outlets.
Target Relevant Publications and Reporters
Do some research to find media that focus on your industry or area of interest. Search for publications, journalists, bloggers, and influencers that have covered similar news or products in the past. Pitch to them directly to improve your chances of coverage.
Use a Press Release Distribution Service
Distribution services like PR Newswire, PRWeb, and Business Wire can blast your release to thousands of media contacts. They offer paid plans at varying price points. While a wider distribution increases visibility, targeted outreach is more likely to generate coverage. Consider using a distribution service to supplement your personalized pitching.
Include Images and Multimedia
A press release with visual assets like photos, infographics, charts or video has a much higher chance of being picked up by media. Provide high-resolution images, properly attributed, and include captions with details about what’s pictured. Offer multimedia as separate downloadable assets in your pitch email.
Follow Up and Build Relationships
Don’t just blast your press release and move on. Follow up with targeted media contacts, especially any that show interest or ask questions. Thank them for their time and consideration. Build an ongoing relationship by commenting on their social media posts, sharing their content, and pitching them future news and stories. Establishing yourself as a helpful resource will make them more likely to cover your news in the future.
Promote on Your Own Channels
Post or link to your official press release on all of your company's social media profiles, website and email newsletters. Share with industry organizations, partners, customers and anyone else in your network. The more people talk about and share your news, the more credibility and authority it gains. Journalists often look for trending news stories to cover, so generating buzz on your own channels is key.
With some legwork and relationship-building, you can achieve quality press coverage that establishes your brand as an industry leader. Keep practicing and refining your pitching and distribution efforts over time to build an effective PR machine.
Press Release FAQs: Common Questions Answered
Press releases are an important part of any public relations strategy, but many people have questions about how to write and distribute them effectively. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about press releases answered:
What makes a press release “newsworthy”?
For a press release to grab attention, it needs to be newsworthy. That means announcing something timely, significant, impactful or out of the ordinary. Things like a product launch, business milestone, award win, new hire, or research study results are good options. Ask yourself, “Would this interest or benefit readers?” If the answer is yes, you’ve probably got newsworthy content.
How long should a press release be?
Press releases should be concise, around 300 to 700 words. Shorter is usually better, as long as you cover all the key details. Focus on the news announcement itself, not background information. Use an active, engaging writing style with short sentences and paragraphs. Leave readers wanting to know more so they will follow up.
What’s the best way to distribute a press release?
The most effective distribution methods are:
- Wire services like PR Newswire, PRWeb or BusinessWire. They distribute your release to media outlets, journalists, and news aggregators.
- Your media contacts list. Email the release directly to journalists and media contacts who cover your industry or area of news.
- Social media. Post the full release on your company news page or blog, then promote on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Follow up with key media targets. Call or email select journalists who would be especially interested in your news. Pitch them to do a story or interview.
Write press releases with AI
So now you have all the tools you need to create an eye-catching press release. If you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to writing headlines that stop scrollers in their tracks and get your press release the coverage it deserves.
Remember, keep it short, make it exciting, highlight the benefit, and speak to your reader's interests. With a little practice, you'll be writing attention-grabbing press releases that spread the word about your business far and wide. Good luck!
P.S. Still not sure where to start? Try our AI-powered Press Release Generator for free here.