PR Hacks

How to Write a Press Release Headline That Isn't Sh!t

Bryce North
5 minutes
May 20, 2024

If your press release didn’t make headlines, don’t beat yourself up too much. Sure, you could “be a Little Pitch” and wallow in self-pity, but why not get your shit together and do better next time instead? That way you won’t have wasted your time and can use it as a launchpad for the next big win instead.

A press release is your golden ticket to capturing the attention of everyone from the C-suite to the rank and file. It’s also often how you talk to the common folk out there.

So, this advice will teach you how to write a press release headline that will capture the hearts and minds of everyone who matters. Then, you can focus on the rest of the piece and knock it out of the park.

Why a Bold Headline Makes or Breaks Your Press Release

The press release title is what’s going to be drawing eyes towards what you have to say. If it’s some dreary shite, you aren’t going to get more than the most disturbingly curious. If you make something that packs a punch, though, you can grab the attention of the busiest, most jaded readers.

It isn’t only your potential customers you need to impress. Journalists and other media personnel are going to be watching you for any potential drama or news. For this reason, making a headline that catches attention can cause a frenzy as rabid news hounds try to dig up more dirt on you.

Once people start reading your release, though, you will need to ensure your headline didn’t write checks the body couldn’t cash. It sets the tone. Thus, balancing a killer opening with the rest of the content can be a hard process.

Nail it, though, and social media will carry your message a long way. You’ll even start seeing your company’s name appearing in that list of hashtags alongside even the most drama-filled daily news. 

The Riskier the Road, the Greater the Profit

Nailing the right angle can be a complete mindfuck. This is where innovation can give you a leg up. 

Writing the same tired crap again and again is for losers. Instead, grow some balls and takes some risks with your writing. This could mean:

  • Openly calling out your product as better than one leading the market
  • Mentioning your USP such that it sounds like it will change your industry’s landscape
  • Mocking or ribbing your competitors
  • Using edgier language that suggests more mature content
  • Directly calling out the reader for a supposed slight

In the crowded media landscape, any one of these tactics will at least make people curious about what the rest of your press release says. 

The Anatomy of a Truly Kickass Headline

When developing PR headlines, the most important thing you need to consider is the clarity of what you are writing. Read, re-read, and re-re-read it, then give it to your own mother and take away her glasses. It needs to scream what it’s trying to communicate, as you aren’t going to get multiple chances here.

Use the active voice and keep it all concise. Nobody wants to read some rambling bullshit, nobody has time for that, and it will be much more impactful that way. 

“Wait, What the Hell?”: Crafting Eye-Popping Headlines

When deciding on the specific nature of what you want to say, try to use one or more of the following ideas to make it more catchy:

Invoke readers’ curiosity. Use unexpected phrases or questions that make readers stop and re-read what you have said. You want people to be intrigued enough to want to dive deeper.

Puns and wordplay. Using clever wordplay can make your headline more memorable. Be careful not to look like a clown or some shitty tabloid, though.

Target people’s emotions. Hope, fear, and anger are very powerful emotions. If you want to leverage these, be very careful not to piss off your readers or turn them against you.

Good press release examples also often use numbers and data to stand out and appear like they offer a tangible angle. This can sometimes turn a good headline into a great one.

Why Clickbait Leads to Risky Clicks With Fantastic Payoff

Clickbait might seem cheap, and wary people might not always be able to spot it. Are you intending to target the wariest individuals, though? If not, they’re perfect.

Maybe the best press release examples you can put out there are likely to trigger curiosity due to the simple fact people want to know more. After all, why are they so effective? The real reason will surprise you.

Clickbait skirts controversy or curiosity. It can bring people in who wouldn’t usually visit due to your press release simply being impossible to resist. Others seeing that you have visited via social media will also want to check it out, causing a viral spread that can snowball fast.

If you format your site to follow through on such clickbait, you can even turn a lot of the resulting traffic into long-term conversions.

How to Write a Press Release Headline For the Big Dogs

Not everyone who reads your headline is some inept nobody, though. In many cases, you might want to aim at those who consider everything you say carefully, such as the C-suite of a company.

In such a case, it’s about striking the right chord with a press release header with people who may have already seen it all.

In such a case, pivot instead into confidence and authority. Ensure that these people feel like they are about to read something worthwhile. You may even see a benefit in using their language, such as mentioning “ROIs”, “leadership”, or “strategy” phrases.

Get the Help You Need With Your PR Efforts

If you are ready to see your words spread far and wide, you need more than to know how to write a press release headline. You also need to consider what to do next, and how to make people see you even when you are not shouting at their inbox.

At Don’t Be a Little Pitch, we don’t just write headlines. We craft narratives that capture the attention of everyone you need to be on your side.

Don’t let your next big announcement be dragged into the trash. You’re better than that. Visit us to book a consultation and see what we can do with your image today.

Level Up Now: Read Our Recent Posts
How to Earn Your Way Into Media: Let’s Talk Pitching
Amrit Kaur
Stand Out, Shine Bright: Why Personal Branding Matters More Than Ever
Rein Anca
PR Dos and Don'ts: Avoiding Common Mistakes That Can Hinder Brand Awareness
Kate Sarmiento
The Era of Accountability: Navigating the Impact of 'Woke' and 'Cancel' Culture with PR
Bryce North

Our Guarantee

With zero contracts, zero gimmicks, and a zero-BS honesty policy, you're the captain of your PR voyage. We're all about results, promising 1-3 media placements monthly from top outlets.

Explore Our PR Services

We don't do cookie-cutter plans. Get access a tailor-made PR strategy designed specifically for your industry and brand, ensuring maximum exposure in the most effective way possible.