How to Write a Press Release: Punchy Headlines

A press release is simply an announcement of a newsworthy event, information that is timely, entertaining, interesting, or helpful. A punchy headline is critical in getting your press release noticed. Releases can be distributed by email, snail mail, or fax. Do not use attachments with a press release. Most editors will delete the entire email unopened because of the potential of viruses in unsolicited attachments.

Don’t send the press release as a PDF file. PDF files can’t be copied and pasted if the recipient doesn’t have the correct Adobe program. This means the editor will have to have the entire release re-typed and they probably won’t do it.

The release can go on your corporate stationary and include a photo of the product if relevant. It can also, of course, be emailed.

Press Release Format

Immediate Release – and today’s date (or the date the paper should publish the release if it is time related)

Contact Information:
Your name
Your phone number
Your email address

Include all this information. Many reporters won’t pursue a press release that doesn’t have a phone number. If you live outside the US and want US coverage you have to have a phone number in the US, a toll free 800 (888 or 866) number, or state in the release that the reporter should email you with a convenient date and time and you will place and pay for the call. You could also use a skype phone number (a service for phone calls over the Internet) but that requires the reporter to have a headset and microphone and most may not.

You can put the contact information at the end of the release. If you do, put the statement “Contact Information Below” in place of your name, phone number and email address.


Try not to have the headline be the same old, same old. “New Book Released by Local Author” for example. Or “New Book Tells Why Your Kids Are Rotten.” This is make it or break it time. The headline is what will entice the reporter or editor to read your release. Use a headline like Five Reasons Kids Are Rotten: And What Parents Can Do About It.

I know there are thousands of press releases that begin “Big Company, Inc. announces innovative new product, new vice president, price cuts, or whatever.” If you were a reporter would that interest you? Would that grab your attention? No. So don’t use it as a headline. Remember your goal: Providing the reporter with information that makes it easy for the reporter to craft a story that will be meaningful to the publication’s readers.

If possible tie your product and your headline to a current news event. If you don’t have any ideas, make a list of your product’s benefits and then cruise newspaper headlines to see how your product fits in with what’s happening in the world.

Headlines are meant for humans not search engine bots. Keywords are wonderful but a string of keywords does not a headline make. If you want your release to show up high in the search engine rankings when searching the keyword string, that’s fine, but use a different headline for the release distributed to humans.

How to write a press release using punchy headlines can unleash the power of publicity for you.

Get Your FREE report Unleash the Power of Publicity and learn how to write a press release Dee Power is the co-author of several nonfiction More Internet marketing tips and marketing tricks.