Nov 15, 2013

A Provocative Headline Breaks the Rules, and Really Works

ContentWeLoveIf you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that press release headlines are the subject of frequent conversation.  We’ve discussed why a good headline can make or break your press release and have offered myriad suggestions on length, inclusion of keywords and news hooks.  Write the headline you want to see published, we say.  Shoot for 100 characters.

While I still stand by that advice, I’ll also admit that sometimes, it goes straight out the window.

The news release that caught my eye this week has a 16 character, two-word headline, “Where’s Dental?

It’s provocative and timely – the Affordable Care Act is very much in the news this week, and without even reading the release, I knew what it was about – the exclusion of dental care from the new healthcare insurance laws.

The funny thing, though, is the fact I wasn’t aware that the ACA didn’t cover dental.  But in that simple two-word headline, I realized that it didn’t, and I couldn’t help it – I clicked and read!

And that’s the point.  This headline – this simple, provocative, two-word query – not only got my attention, but it made me think, and it set up the desire to learn more.

Responses to the statement, “Taking care of my teeth and gums is as important as taking care of my general health,” on the recent survey fielded by the Washington Dental Service Foundation.

The only suggestion I’d suggest for this release would be the inclusion of a visual, preferably, a simple infographic illustrating the survey data.  Adding a visual punch to that fantastic headline would have carried the message even further.

Kudos to the PR team at the Washington State Dental Service Foundation on crafting a timely, interesting and effective news release!

Want more tips on driving discovery of your messages by new audiences? Join us Tuesday, November 19, for a webinar all about content discovery.   You’ll learn how to craft messages and strategies that will be found by and resonate with new, relevant audiences. 

Free webinar registration: Connecting Messages with Audiences: Tips & Tactics for Driving Content Discovery 

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the newly-published ebooks  New School PR Tactics  and Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

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