Posts Tagged ‘press release title’

Press Release Titles - Critical to getting your news release read

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The title of your press release is the most decisive factor in whether your news gets good results. In today’s online news world of ‘Twitter’ and ‘RSS’ syndication having a well written article, press release or op-ed is not good enough. Today’s online news is not even the same as it was 5 years ago. 5 years you could write a professional title with the first few lines going into more detail, building on what was outlined in the title. Today this is no longer the case…or a least it’s changing rapidly.

Today’s online news is no longer read in what we call ‘Teasers’, teasers have become quick bits of info.

You need to grab the readers attention in the first few words, or without question, you will lose some readers who would normally be interested in what you have to say…particularly readers under 35.

Journalist and Editors are not immune to this ‘Twitter Effect‘, they, like all readers of news start to favor what gets their attention immediately.

So how do you go about writing a press release title to be effective?

The first few words should be compelling!

For example, lets say you have a news release on climate change.

You have a traditional title like:

Dr. John Smith of Acme University Reports in a New Research Study That Climate Change XXX XXX

When this is sent to press and they see it it in their email, this if fine because a good part of the release is visible. Editors and journalist will quickly scan the document to see if it something they want to fully read.

However, if the news is being read in a ‘Twitter’ or ‘RSS’ bit…your important story may get overlooked….i.e. they may only see:

Dr. John Smith of Acme University…

Not a very interesting ‘bit’ of news. A more effective title in today small size news would be:

Climate Change - Unprecedented New Facts Alarm Researchers

You can then lead into the the story like so: (after the reader has clicked to read the full story)

Climate Change - Unprecedented New Facts Alarm Researchers

New York, NY - Dr. John Smith of Acme University reports in a new research study that climate change……

Press Release Title

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

How to optimize your title in a press release so your news release / press release gets read.

A press release title is the first or second most important part of your news. When your news is viewed via RSS (newswire or news bulletin) or by fax the first thing (most of the time) a reader will see is your title in the press release. Why? First, the press release title is normally centered on the page at the top. Second, the title is normally in bold with a large font size 12pt to 24 pt. Third, white space around the title makes it stand out even more.

When your press release is viewed via email, depending on the email settings the end viewer has set, the title may be the first most important element or the second. If the end viewer has “Reading Pane” or “Preview email” turned on, the press release title is the most important element in the release. If the end viewer has the “Preview email” turned off the subject line (see press release subject line blog post) becomes the most important element.

Your press release title should be descriptive / relevant of what’s to follow. It should highlight the most import aspect(s) of your news. It should include the most recognized keyword(s) or buzz word(s). The title should be intriguing – you want to get the readers attention so they read more. Don’t use sales language for your press release – people who read press release expect information in the form of news, that is, statements of facts, quotes from the principals, and the details, who, what, where, why and when. This is especially true for reporters. A headline like: “HURRY!!! – BUY NOW!!! – LAST WEEK OF SALE!!!” is sure way to send your news right to the readers trash can. Avoid the use of - ! $ *** characters, especially don’t repeat them (!!!).

So how do you word your press release title so it draws attention?

Easier said than done, particularly if you don’t have a marketing degree or PR experience. That said, there are some good rules to follow (below) and there are unlimited examples
to look at. If you are a novice to press release writing, look some actual press release examples others have done and pick up your local newspaper and see how they write their titles.

Press Release Title Tips:

ALL CAPS – All caps was an effect way to draw attention to the title. This approach is starting to change, not because it’s ineffective but because it is penalized by electronic filters and search engines. All caps is a favorite method of mass mailers and spammers – so many email filters may weed your news out, sending it directly to the junk email folder, just because its in all caps. Search engines are starting to devalue “sales letter” style WebPages. So if you do get past the email filters and your release is posted to websites, your effect on “pagerank” will make your release show up later in search engine results for keywords. A good alternative to all caps is; capitalize the first letter of each word, bold and a larger font.

Colors – Colors are great to draw attention: Red means – Stop and look at me, Blue conveys trust and so on…Don’t use any color except black! There are a few exceptions: your logo would be one of them. Many websites are professional publications that have certain standards they follow; one of the most common is black font only. If you send a release out that is in a dark blue font the webmaster or web editor may have to change your font color to black prior to posting it. The point here is that the editor will simply delete your release rather than changing your font. The easier you make everyone’s job the better your chances are to get published.

Announcements and Events – Many news releases to the media and general public are to announce something that has happened or is going to happen. Don’t assume anything! Ask yourself; “what would I want to know”. Ask; “why would the press, my industry or the public want to know more”. Here are some examples:

You have an opening of a new store, so you write:

ABC Inc. Grand Opening!

First loose the !.

Next don’t assume that since your sending your release to the local area media they will take for granted the news pertains to them. The media gets blasted every day with pitches, news release and news tips. So, the first thing you want to do is say, “hey, this news pertains to your beat”.

LA – North Hollywood ABC Inc. Grand Opening

Next you want to give the reporter a reason why they should write or talk about your news.

LA – North Hollywood ABC Inc. Grand Opening, Featuring XXX -
The Only Service of its Kind in Southern California

The above applies to your website announcement as well: ABC Goes Live – Be more descriptive and give an indication on why the reader should continue reading more.

There is much more to be said about the title in a press release, see our press release tips section on our main website and check back here from time for more information.

When you order a press release distribution from us, if requested, we will optimize your title as well as the entire news release.