Effective press releases have a newspaper-like headline. This is important for two reasons: it helps journalists decide at a glance if the press release is worth reading at all and, if they decide it is, it may well serve as a useful preformulation for the headline that the journalists will have to try and come up with for their own readership.

Just like for newspaper articles the headlines of press releases should be clear and informative (not: Philips announces annual results; but: Philips reports $ 1.2 bn profit for 2003). However, since the headlines of press releases are hardly ever copied in the newspapers (headlines probably being the ultimate arena for journalistic freedom), there's no need to make them snappy or sensational. Here are some more examples:

British Nuclear Fuels Signs EUR 1.5 Million Contract with Intentia

Thailand Elite Card Awarded to UNICEF Honorees Harry Belafonte, Halle Berry , Katie Couric, Sir Roger Moore, Nana Mouskouri, Vanessa Redgrave, and Sir Peter Ustinov

New Executive Appointments for Sony in Europe

Note that for more complicated news items it is not unusual to come up with a multiple (double) headline.

ExxonMobil Introduces New Mobil 1 Truck & SUV Formula for Light Trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles
New Synthetic Truck & SUV Motor Oil Delivers Protection for Both Gasoline and Diesel Engines

Also keep in mind that headlines provide a unique opportunity to focus on what you consider to be most important or convenient. A famous example is that of the first press release that Exxon Corporation issued after one of its tankers had caused a massive oil spill off the coast of Alaska:

Lightering and clean-up efforts continue in Alaska