7 Tips for Writing Catchy Headlines Journalists won’t resist

February 17, 2015
Business Intelligence, The Wonderful World Of PR
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Headlines are the first text a reader would stumble on, this goes a long way to determine if your audience will be enticed to read your story or not. You could be sitting on top the most interesting news in the world, but everyone will pass it by if your press release has a boring headline.

An example is this below:

Headline 1: A new medicine has been discovered to cure a non-treatable disease

Headline 2: HIV/AIDS finally gets cure, new medicine discovered

The two headlines are passing the same message across but one is catchier than the other and will interest any reader.

The results of your press releases might not be quite that dramatic but headlines should briefly tell a journalist what they’re about to read. It should also arouse his or her interest and make them want to read more.

Below are 7 tips to catchy headlines:

  1. Keep it short:Headlines should convey your central message within 60 to 80 characters.
  2. Be specific: A good headline should communicate effectively the message you are trying to communicate without being ambiguous.
  3. Avoid boastful words: Words like “awesome” and “magnificent” should be avoided in the title of your press release; it portrays your write-up more like a pitch.
  4. Be interesting: “Sesema hires new CEO” isn’t very interesting, but “Sesema PR promotes account executive to CEO” sounds more interesting. Pinpoint the most interesting aspect of your news item and highlight it in your headline.
  5. Use interesting data and Figures: Data, numbers, records and percentages catch a journalist’s eye; include them in your press releases when you can.

E.g 2, 000 People killed by Boko Haram in Baga

  1. Avoid jargon: You might be writing for a layperson who may have no knowledge of your industry, so keep it simple.
  2. Write it for the right journalist: If your news is intended for a specific industry, write your headline with the proper journalist in mind.

Damilola Sobajo


Sesema PR

Sesema PR is a leading PR Consultancy in Nigeria headquartered in Lagos, with a subsidiary in Accra, Ghana. Sesema's dedication to the improvement in PR practice in Nigeria has led to the MD receiving an award for her contributions to PR. She is also the treasurer of the PRCAN. Sesema is affiliated to Edelman, the world's leading, independent PR firm.

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