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Your hometowners’ headlines are extremely important. Every good headline tells readers what will follow in their hometowner and why it’s important to them. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of writing great hometowner headlines.

Single Format Headlines

Always use placeholders in your single-format headlines to illustrate the importance of your news to local newspapers. readMedia requires the use of the person's first and last name in every single-format headline and strongly recommends the use of the individual's hometown. These placeholders personalize every recipient’s release and help your hometowners stand out online.

Here’s an example of a single format headline that answers all three important questions… Who, what, and where:

In this case, the student’s name (John Smith) and hometown (Albany) are placeholders from a spreadsheet. Like the headline above you'll want to make the student the subject of your headline. This helps create a completely unique news story for every person in your spreadsheet. Always include your school's name in your headline as well. 

Here are a few more examples of great single format headlines:

John Smith of Albany Named to PR University’s Dean’s List

John Smith of Albany Awarded Scholarship to Attend PR University

John Smith of Albany Studies Abroad Through PR University Program

John Smith of Albany Performs in PR University’s “Death of a Salesman”

John Smith of Albany Named Resident Assistant at PR University

John Smith of Albany Named to PR University’s Swimming Team

Multiple Format Headlines

Multiple format headlines are different than single format headlines in that you cannot use placeholders in them. The releases themselves will contain a list of students in the newspaper’s coverage area. Because of this, they should be written in plural form.

Here’s an example of a short but sweet multiple format headline:

Unlike your single format headline, your multiple format headline should use generic language. Refer to the group of students as “local residents” or “area residents” in your headline. Here are a few more examples of great single format headlines:

Area Residents Named to PR University’s Dean’s List

Local Residents Awarded Scholarships to Attend PR University

Area Residents Study Abroad Through PR University Program

Local Residents Perform in PR University’s “Death of a Salesman”

Area Residents Named as Resident Assistants at PR University

Local Residents Named to PR University’s Swimming Team


Write your entire hometowner BEFORE writing your headline. Then ask yourself the following question: “What is my main point?” Incorporate your answer into your headline.


Keep your headline short and to the point. Ideally, it should be shorter than 110 characters.

As you begin putting together your headline, keep in mind it should be one coherent and complete thought. If yours consists of two separate points (for any reason), break it up immediately. Feel free to use part of your original headline as a subheadline.

Always make your headline a complete sentence. It should give the reader a clear sense of what will follow in the body of your hometowner.


Even though your headline should be a complete sentence, you will want to avoid unnecessary punctuation. Never end headlines with a period, and try to steer clear of commas and other punctuation unless you need them to make your point (or your headline looks awkward without it).

Avoid exclamation points and question marks at all costs (unless they are part of a proper name). They can cause your hometowners to be diverted to a recipient’s spam filter.


Do not write headlines in all caps. It’s standard industry practice to write headlines in upper and lower case. Title case is easier to read and less likely to be labeled as spam in email inboxes.


Try to use present tense verbs in your headline if possible. If your press release is about an event that has already happened, it’s good practice to still write your headline in present tense.

Active Verbs

The verbs you choose should be definitive, and leave no room for doubt. Powerful active verbs will drive your point home. They clearly label your hometowners as newsworthy and establish a sense of urgency.

Here’s a list of active verbs which appear in hometowner headlines frequently: