Tips for Writing Press Release Headlines

Press release headlines are one of the most important factors in whether or not your releases attract media and blog coverage. The headline is the first thing journalists see, whether they find your release online or in their email inbox.

These three simple tips can help you format and write better headlines for your next press release.

1. Keep press release headlines search engine friendly.

These days press releases are often released online. And that means you should consider search engines when you write your press release headlines.

Whether you use a press release distribution service or you post your press releases on your company website, they’re likely to be indexed by search engines such as Google.

Search engines limit the number of characters shown in a page title in their search results pages. If your press release headline is too long, it will get cut off. And when searchers don’t see your full headline, you’ll have a harder time getting them to click your link and read your news.

A good rule of thumb for online press releases is to keep your headline to around 50 characters.

That should ensure your entire press release headline is visible while still leaving room for the distribution website’s brand name, which may be added.

You can learn more about title length for Google’s search results in Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ “Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition” for Moz.

2. Your press release headline should be attention-grabbing.

Bland news release headlines are the quickest way to turn off journalists and bloggers.

Make sure your headlines are catchy. But that doesn’t mean treating press release headlines as clickbait. Your job is to do more than drive eyes to your press release. It’s to present a relevant story to readers. So get their attention and let them know why they should cover your story.

3. Make your news clear in your headline.

Getting attention isn’t enough though. Remember, again, press releases are news stories. They’re not clickbait articles.

Make sure your news angle is clear right in the headline.

If your headline misleads journalists and bloggers, you risk being blacklisted for coverage (now and potentially in the future). Never waste your reader’s time.

Once you’ve perfected your press release headline, it’s time to dive into the meat, or “body,” of your release. And that’s what I’ll cover in my next post.

In the meantime, if you need a professional to look over your planned press release and edit it (or help you write one from scratch), get in touch and let’s talk about your company’s story.

Jennifer Mattern is a freelance business writer, professional blogger, consultant, and publisher.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and more than 20 years' experience in marketing and PR, specializing in digital PR and new media (with significant experience in social media, online marketing, SEO, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience, including web development, mostly in the WordPress environment.

In addition to offering client services, Jenn also developed and runs numerous online publications including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

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