Mat Release Headlines: 5 Tips for Writing Like a Pro

Gold-egg-in-group-of-white-eggsIf you're like most marketers, you dedicate a fair amount of time and attention to naming your projects. Catchy campaign names, press release titles and email subject lines top the priority list. With each clever moniker, you're striving to stand out and capture your audience's attention. The same strategy should apply to your mat release headlines.

It's true that syndicated content, such as mat releases, is often viewed as a complement to a broader initiative. But this doesn't mean it should receive second-rate consideration. Since your material is often intended to be published exactly as is, it's even more crucial to make it editorially appealing.

Editors are bombarded with stories, so it should come as no surprise that the headline and image of your content are the two strongest visual cues, and thus your best shots at attracting editors to your brand's message.

Here are five tips for catching an editor's attention with your mat release headline:

  • Balance descriptive language with clever words. It's tempting to use catchy phrases or clever word plays, but if editors don't get a reasonable snapshot of your mat release content, they're likely to skip to the next option.
  • Be specific to stand out. When you're competing for coverage amongst dozens of other brands, general phrases such as "Summer Recipes for the Family" are a dime a dozen. A detailed mat release headline, such as "Quick Summer Sides with Fresh Fruit" is more likely to grab editors' attention.
  • Manage word count. Shorter mat release headlines allow editors more flexibility in layout, so they are less tempted to substitute their own version.
  • Think editorial, not advertorial. Editors don't want their readers to feel "sold" to, so go easy on brand mentions, marketing messages and excessive superlatives.
  • Follow journalistic style. Generally, your mat release headline should adhere to the rules of traditional journalism. For example, it should be accurate and convey context, and use numerals and single quotes (rather than the numbers and quotations marks appropriate in copy).

Do you have any additional tips that have proven to be successful?

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