When hearing the words “public relations,” many people who are familiar with the business view it on a larger scale. For example, public relations specialists are seen as “reputation protectors” or “relationship builders.” That may be true in that one of the main goals of PR is to enhance your client’s reputation and shed some light on who they are and what they do. Perhaps one of the most common ways to build positive publicity for your client is through drafting a press release. A solid press release with a memorable story message could really go a long way, but a lot of writers lose their fundamentals in the process.
Where am I going with this you ask? I recently came across a website that zoned in on actual newspaper headlines or typos that can really ruin the message behind the story and ultimately tarnish a client’s reputation.
For your entertainment, I’ve compiled five of my most favorite headlines. While looking them over, think about how you feel about potentially reading the story.
1.) “Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says”
2.) “Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy”
(Nice gesture, but it might be TOO nice)
3.) “Eye Drops off Shelf”
4.) “If Strike isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While”
(I would have never guessed…)
5.) “Milk drinkers are turning to powder”
(I better find something else to put in my cereal)
As you can see, a botched headline is humorous to readers, but from a PR stance, it really ruins the message of the story. In turn, readers most likely will not take that organization seriously and therefore miss out on the significance of what could have been a newsworthy story.
The moral of the blog here is that attention to detail is extremely important in creating a story message and building a brand. Always pay attention to how you organize your words, and keep a tight leash on your punctuation and grammar. After all, a headline is the first item of a story that the public will read (or choose to not read).
So with that said, put your Public Relations cap on, and get back to basics.