Tricks for crafting the perfect headline or subject line

Grabbing a reader’s attention can be tricky—especially when you’ve only got a few seconds. Here are some tips for hooking distracted audiences.

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In Hollywood, it’s the logline. In newsrooms, it’s the headline.

In PR, it’s the email subject line—and first sentence of an email pitch—that can make all the difference when PR pros pitch media outlets, but how can you possibly present the gist of a story in just a few words?

Try borrowing logline/headline strategy from the entertainment and news businesses.

Start with the end in mind

Before a movie script is written–or any scenes are shot—Hollywood producers imagine a movie based on a one-sentence description (the logline) of the story?

Here’s an example of a logline for the 2004 cult hit Napoleon Dynamite from TV Guide:


A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he deals with his bizarre family life back home.

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