Media Release Headlines - Ten Tips to Get Media Attention

So you have spent hours and hours writing, shaping and crafting your media message. You've worked on setting your objectives, identifying your target audience and working out how to reach them. Your release is well structured and packaged, leaving just writing the head-line remaining.

Unfortunately with little time remaining you hastily put together the headline and send out the release but fail to hear from any interested journalists.

Why? A poorly written headline will fail to attract the attention of a reporter, journalist or editor.

Let me give you an example.

"Triple Bottom-line Community Net Benefit Decision Time for Sustainable Economic Development Decisions Needed Says Economist"

This is an actual headline on a media release from MacroPlan Australia published in 'The Australian' Media Section on Nov 13, 2003.

Would you want to read more if you got this on your fax machine or email inbox?

How can you write better headlines?

Here are my Top 10 Tips:

1. KEEP IT TO 1 LINE.

More than one line and you are likely to loose a busy journalist who would receive hundreds of media releases a day. Be sharp and precise, remember your trying to hook the journalist in to read the rest of the release.

2. KEEP IT TO LESS THAN 5 WORDS.

Remember with headlines, 'less is more'. Make each word effective rather then having too many.

3. EDIT FOR BREVITY

You probably won't achieve points one and two on the first go. Rewrite and edit every time. Even experienced journalists take several attempts to get a headline right.

4. DON'T TRY AND BE TOO SMART.

Writing headlines for the print medium is a real art form. Leave it to those who make a living out of it - namely newspaper subeditors. Remember newspaper headlines have to sell papers, your headline has to engage one reader - a cynical journalist or editor with a 'so what, who cares' attitude.

5. KEEP TO THE ESSENCE OF WHAT THE STORY IS ABOUT.

The headline should summarise the story. Make it relevant. If the headline is too flamboyant it will be disregarded, make sure it is appropriate to the story.

6. USE A BIGGER FONT SIZE THAN THE REST OF THE RELEASE.

Don't go smaller than size 12 for the main body of the text and use size 14 or 16 font or bigger for your headline or title.

7. USE THE SAME FONT STYLE AS YOUR TEXT.

Never change font styles in a release. Times New Roman is the most accepted and professional.

8. USE BOLD TO MAKE IT STAND OUT.

9. CENTRE IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE.

10. ALWAYS SPELL CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK FOR TYPOS.

Nothing harms your credibility more than a typo in the headline!

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com

In The News:

Public relations is bad news  The Conversation CA
Public Relations Manager  Charlotte Agenda
PR Newswire - Start of Day  Yahoo Finance UK

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