By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator of PrPro and owner of Energy PR
A well-written headline will increase the chance of your news story being picked up, and will be a valuable tool in search engine optimising for your news release when it’s carried online. But how do you create that all important, eye-catching headline?
Here are some tips…
- Be attention grabbing and give the gist of the story.
- Eye for detail — include some of the “who, what, why, where and when” of your news story.
- Keep it short — clear, concise and snappy.
- Write it to match the style of the media you are trying to get into or onto.
- Write it last — by then the rest of the story will have become crystallised in your head. So you will find it much easier to conjure up a concise summary of the story, which is what your headline should be.
- Include relevant keywords — don’t go too far and pack your headline with key words for the sake of it — include the ones that count, those that are eye-catching and will increase your chance of search engine pick up.
- Use power words — these are words which just have more impact than others — ‘slashed’ rather than cut, ‘unveils’ rather than ‘introduces'
- Observe - buy The Sun and a broadsheet newspaper such as The Times on the same day for a week. Look at how they both cover the same news stories — and look at their headlines. How many words have they used? Where are the ‘power words’ in the headlines?
Don’t worry — you don’t need to construct the ultimate perfect headline every time — in fact often journalists want to be able to change your headline to their own style — and may not thank you for coming up with such a good one that they can’t better it! You just need to get across the gist of the story in a compelling, no nonsense way.
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