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11 tips to craft engaging press release headlines

By Lindsey Chastain

Real-world examples and tips to create attention-grabbing headlines that will secure media pickup.


A person typing a press release headline on a computer.A strong, attention-grabbing headline is critical for a press release to achieve its purpose of securing media coverage. With journalists receiving hundreds of releases daily, standing out among the crowded media landscape is challenging but possible. 







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For example, the National Association of Realtors headline, "Pending Home Sales Fell 8.6% in June," commands readers’ attention by clearly stating the story's hook — an 8.6% decline. Including a specific statistic makes the story more newsworthy.


Or Notified’s headline, "Notified Announces Industry-Leading AI Press Release Generator," piques interest by mentioning an “industry-leading” artificial intelligence capability for press releases. It raises questions about how to apply AI in PR.


Bees360’s headline, "Bees360 Expands Executive Team with Chief AI Officer," clearly highlights the company’s addition of an AI executive role and signals an increasing focus on AI. The headline invites readers to learn more about the company’s AI plans.


When crafting engaging press release headlines, keep these 11 tips in mind:


1. Highlight what’s new.

Communicate what’s new, improved, or groundbreaking about your news. Journalists consistently seek the latest updates relevant to their audience. Demonstrate how your announcement moves the needle.


2. Use power words. 

Words like “announces,” “launches,” or “unveils” convey action and grab attention. Other power words include “first,” “best,” “most,” “free,” “guaranteed,” “proven,” etc. But use them honestly and judiciously.  


3. Keep it short and scannable.

Get key details across in 10 words or less. Lead with the main headline, then clarify specifics in a sub-headline if needed. 


4. Spark curiosity.  

Raise interesting questions to pull readers into the release. Give a taste of your news without giving away everything. Make them eager to access the full story.


5. Include facts and stats.

Figures, data, specifics, and quantitative details add newsworthiness and credibility. But relevant facts aligned to audience interests, not random numbers.


6. Speak to benefits.

Emphasize how your update helps people –– saves money, creates opportunities, solves problems, etc. Benefit-focused headlines demonstrate meaningful impacts.  


7. Customize for outlets/journalists. 

Tailor headlines when pitching to certain publications or journalists by highlighting angles tied to their focus areas. Added relevance boosts pick-up potential.  


8. Use active voice.  

Active voice adds energy and vividness. Passive voice dulls messaging and strains readability. Empower headlines with strong, active verbs.  


9. Rethink buzzwords.

Generic industry terms may not resonate widely. Explain jargon for clarity. Or better yet, capture essence without empty buzz phrases.  


10. Check length.  

Evaluate headline length by outlet. Online forms have more flexibility than print. However, even digital prefers scannable conciseness where possible.   


11. Show authentic enthusiasm.

Genuine excitement about your news is contagious. Let natural enthusiasm energize your headline word choices and phrasing.  


As a final tip, know that headlines capture interest and content fulfills the promise. In your press release, you must tell a clear story supporting your headline. Compelling headlines combined with strong content drive media coverage and reader engagement.

For more information about how we can elevate your PR strategy, contact us today or book a one-on-one consultation.


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Photo by Teona Swift

Topics: media relations, earned media, news media

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