When you’re writing press releases or pitches to help get your existing, or new business PR, always start with the headline first. It helps keep you focused on the ONE point you may want to get across and then content should flow from there.
Reporters are so busy, receiving hundreds of emails, voicemails and requests for their time that a headline has to grab attention in order for you to get PR. The first thing they see is the headline – so the 10 seconds it takes to glance at the headline is the deciding factor whether they will read your pitch further or throw it in the trash.
I’ll tackle other types of headlines in future posts, but in the meantime, here are four headline ideas for pitching a reporter on your business:
1. News Headline – to be effective, this actually has to be news! Examples are when you first launched your company or new product, awards for your company, and major company milestones.
- MonthlySocks.com offers North America its first socks-by-mail subscription service
- Babyclothing company launches spring clothing line only in the color green
- Elena Verlee awarded World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (hey, I can dream can’t I?)
2. How to Headline – the basic premise of this type of headline is that you are going to teach someone how to do something. You can make it even more appealing by using a structure such as “How to (Do this task) That (will give you this benefit).
- How to Get Your Kids to Read One Grade Level Higher
- How to Choose A Baby Carrier That Reduces Back and Shoulder Strain
- How Be a Thought Leader in a Crowded Marketplace
3. Question Headline – for this to work, it must be a question that the reporter’s audience (and therefore your target market) would really like to see answered.
- Would you (or your readers) like to get $1,000 worth of bike products for free?
- Do employers really know what moms are looking for in the workplace? (this is the result of a survey, which can be an effective PR tactic especially for start up businesses in a crowded marketplace)
- What are the top 5 business models for online businesses?
The last example combines a question and my favorite type of headline…
4. List Headline – who doesn’t love a top 10 list? This type of headline lists a number of reasons, ways or secrets where you make a specific promise to the reporter of what to expect if they read on. It also has the promise of communicating information that comes in bite-sized chunks.
- Top 20 Products that Soothe a Screaming, High-Needs or Colicky Baby
- The 10 Must-Do “Date-Nights” for Families
- 8 Lessons from a Life Coach
Another example of course, is the title of this post…
Remember, as with anything, if you do nothing…you get nothing. So take a few minutes now (yes, now) and brainstorm the types of headlines above that you can tailor to your business. Send a pitch today!
Since I am new to blogging, I’d sure appreciate a comment to let me know if you found this useful. Or, let me know what topic you would like me to address for you in a future post.
If you need help on writing a pitch, or are stuck on next steps in getting PR, check out my products and resources page here.
“Elena, I loved it!…YOUR BOOK WAS THE BEST AND THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON I HAVE LEARNED SINCE I STARTED MY BUSINESS.”
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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