How to Write an Effective Headline

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseThe headline is the first thing — and sometimes the only thing — an editor will read. Releases are often rejected as a result of a weak headline.  Create headlines with impact. The most effective words in a news release headline are eye-catching words like "announces" and "launches." Comparative words like "better" or "more" can also draw attention to your article. The headline is the "hook" that lures editors and reporters into reading more. Headlines must be compelling.

Many public relations novices make the mistake of embellishing their headlines. Too much information, or confusing information, and the editor will lose interest. Most importantly, you should never sacrifice accuracy for the sake of a flashy headline.

Here are some guidelines for writing headlines:

The headline of your news release should make it findable on the search engines and grab the reader’s attention.  Since the headline of a news release is the single most important aspect of your copy, it needs to be written for both search engines and consumers.

The fact that Google News, Yahoo News, and News, among others, are quickly becoming the gateway to how consumers discover the latest news further increases the importance of using the right keywords. So your first objective is to determine the vocabulary used by your prospective customer.

Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, and Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.

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