How to Write the Perfect Headline and Gain Media Attention for Your Brand
Updated January 2024 – When you have an announcement to make, how do you make sure people pay attention? Some journalists get more than 50 pitches a day, so the hard truth is that you have mere seconds to pique their interest with an attention-grabbing headline. The Silver Telegram crew has more than a decade of experience in crafting headlines and getting the media’s attention. We’ve learned that the key is to keep it important, timely and straight to the point. Today, we’re sharing our formula with you. Ask these 5 key questions during your headline crafting process to make sure you have the right edge on your press release to ultimately write the perfect headline.
Who is announcing what?
At first glance, this seems like an easy one to answer – and most of the time, it is. But you’d be surprised when people leave out this key information, which makes the announcement convoluted and complicated. Not something the media necessarily wants to sift through. The key is to ensure the focus is on your company’s accomplishment, not the other way around.
Why is it newsworthy?
What seems newsworthy to you may not actually be worth attention in the media’s eyes. News is new, timely, and something that impacts the industry. Look at your announcement through the lens of an outsider and really ask yourself: why is this news? If you can answer this question clearly, then your path to media coverage will be a lot shorter.
What is first, better, best or special about your announcement?
Think about what makes this announcement stand out – and remember, it may not be what you think at first. The media goes through 100’s of headlines every day. When they see a release,they want to know if/why they should read on. Are you the best at a certain type of service? Did you find a way to improve efficiency in operations, saving clients thousands of dollars? Is this product the first of its kind? How are you shaping the future of your industry? Find your hook and keep it front and center.
Of course, you care about your announcement, but why should anyone else care? People always want to know how it affects their day to day life. Once you’ve determined the announcement is newsworthy, decide why and incorporate that into your headline.
How does it change/affect people, brands or the industry?
You’ve already identified what is special about your product/service; now, let people know how it’s going to make waves. Is it going to save people money? End a major frustration among consumers? Meet a need in the marketplace? Change the way companies do business? Let your headline tease why your announcement is shaking things up. Don’t let another press release die in a reporter’s inbox before it’s even read. Use these questions to craft a better headline that gets the attention – and coverage – your company deserves.
The Takeaway – Write the Perfect Headline
At The Silver Telegram, we usually mill over about 3-4 headline options before going with one. The headline process is the hardest part of the press release, so make sure that you’re spending the time/energy to make it a piece of content that will make an impact! The process doesn’t end there ;). Once you’re ready to go beyond the headlines, check out our five tips to get your next press release covered. In the meantime, if you feel as though you still need some public relations guidance, feel free to reach out to The Silver Telegram and setup a complimentary call to discuss your brand’s situation.