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5 Ways to Get Your News Headline Noticed

by | Sep 24, 2020

In a society where every organization is fighting to get noticed, the most common question we get as a PR agency is “How do I get a news reporter’s attention?”

In public relations, maintaining a strong relationship with journalists takes effort. We can’t wait for them to come to us. We must pitch compelling stories to them.

So how do you catch a journalist’s attention? A strong, compelling and interesting headline certainly helps. Below are five ways to get your news headline noticed catch a journalist’s attention.

Use the Name of Your Company or Organization

It may seem obvious, but making sure your company’s name is front and center is a must for news headlines. When you’re in the zone this detail can be easy to miss. Whether you are pitching a story for a client, your organization, or for a person, including the name will get your news headline noticed.

Journalists sift through hundreds of emails each day. Save them some time and make the “who” of the story known from the start.

Address the 5 “Ws”

One way to help form a relationship with journalists is to help make their job easier. So don’t make them work to discover what your story is about.

They don’t want to know just the “who,” but the “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.” Again, reporters are constantly on the move to ensure they have enough stories to cover their daily reports. Help them by offering the key components of the story right in the headline.

However, you don’t want to make the mistake of a headline that is simply a laundry list of information. You need to make the headline both factual and interesting if you want to get your news headline noticed.

Make Sure the Headline Matches the Story

While you want a headline that gets noticed, you don’t want to push it too far. A catchy headline will not work if the story doesn’t match. If your focus is simply on making the headline catchy, you can lose sight of the point of the pitch.

When writing a news pitch headline, keep in mind keywords. These are words that your target audience might use to find the article or information about your organization. Keywords not only help get your news headlines noticed, but they also lead readers to your article.

Additionally, be sure to acknowledge tone. Where a pitch announcing an award win might be more fun and exciting, one that announces new healthcare findings or a new type of therapy should be more formal. Make sure the tone of your headline matches the overall feel of your article.

Be Clear and Concise

This is something we say over and over. In public relations, being clear and concise is essential. It helps maintain reputations, build relationships and relay accurate information.

Being clear and concise is just as important when writing a news pitch headline. In a world of “fake news,” being succinct and not exaggerating is an absolute must, including when writing headlines.

Use Numbers or Statistics

Help journalists educate and inform their audience by offering numbers or statistics when possible. Statistics in particular give the story more credibility and typically show a metric of success or need.

For example, a client we work with saw an increase in enrollment at one of their campuses in spite of the looming fears from COVID-19. A headline announcing this success could have simply noted an increase. However, we went further by writing this headline: “[CLIENT] sees a 30% increase in enrollment in spite of global pandemic – read how.” The added statistic made for a stronger headline and helped it get noticed.

Want to learn more about getting your brand noticed? Contact us through our Nichols PR site, or simply reach out to me anytime at mbakle@wetellyourstory.com.

Maggie Bakle - PR Specialist
Smart, experienced and extremely dedicated to her clients, Maggie Bakle is a strong believer in the power of PR. A Fort Wayne native, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University and a master’s degree in public relations at Michigan State University. Before joining Nichols in 2017, she earned valuable experience in public relations and using social media to promote clients during a stint with another Fort Wayne agency. She’s also a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Her level of experience, knowledge and expertise makes her a force to be reckoned with in the Fort Wayne market, a place she believes is positioned to become a real powerhouse in the Midwest.

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