Join Lorrie Thomas Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing a title, part of Writing a Press Release (2014).
Press releases are structured to help focus writers so they cut the fluff, and get right to the importance of what they are trying to say. The structure of a release, begins with a title. Also called a headline. And follows with the subhead, the body of content. A quote, a clear call to action, as well as a boiler plate. I'll give specifics on each part of the release. The title of a release is where a writer makes it or breaks it. This is the first thing that a reader sees and it'll either pique their interest to make them want to read more, or it will lose them.
Your title has to count, and needs to be short, fitting on one line while encapsulating the entire theme of the release. A press release title needs to be factual, descriptive, as well as capture readers' attention so they want to read more. The press release title is often a larger font than the rest of the release, and bolded. Just as web users bounce off a page if it doesn't speak to them, the same applies to an online press release. If you want a journalist, or customer, or whoever your desired reader is to be interested.
That title has to be interesting to them. The title of the press release we created for the topic of announcing the London Hotel San Francisco's conference room, is Modern Events Space and Meeting Room in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. It's nothing fancy, just straight to the facts. The title gives the reader clarity into what the full release will be about. It includes words that might help boost search visibility for event and meeting planners, searching for phrases like, event space in San Francisco, or meeting room in San Francisco.
Bernal Heights San Francisco, was also in the title to help laser focus the area of the city. While a title is written to help keep an ideal reader reading more, don't be afraid to write your title to also weed out the wrong audience. If a meeting planner needs an event space in a specific part of San Francisco like the SoMa District, then this room is not what they need. And they need to know that for their sake, as well as for the sake of the sales people at the hotel booking the room. Why waste time attracting the wrong people? Be specific in your content, and make your press release headline count, time is money.
I have found in my experience working with PR professionals, as well as writing releases through my marketing company. That sometimes the title is the last thing written, or it may get edited during the writing process. I've changed titles many times while writing a release, as I have found ways to improve it in the editing process.
- Picking a topic
- Defining your who, what, where, when, and how
- Writing a title
- Writing a quote
- Writing the body copy
- Distributing a press release