At Dragoman, we translate so many press releases almost on a daily basis. Press releases are strategic elements of PR campaigns, and they require captivating headlines to create greater impact on the target audience. Headlines are critical in getting people to read on by hooking their attention.
Strong headlines are shorter, written in active voice and they put the brand / topic at the begining or heart of the sentence. In the next example our copy-editor shows how to put KEAS, at the front and center, or right in the driver’s seat. Never use passive voice in a press release headline unless the receiver (object) is more significant than the doer. Using the active voice gives your press release a better flow and makes it easier for the reader to follow.
It is important not to superimpose the word-order of the source language (in our case Turkish) into English. Because every language has different rules for syntax and sentence structure.
Turkish Source: Nitelikli mimari üretim KEAS Konsept Stüdyo’da ödüllendirildi
Weak Translation: Quality architectural production awarded at KEAS Concept Studio
Stronger Translation: KEAS Concept Studio hosts quality architectural production awards
Here is another example,
Turkish Source: British Council Mezun Ödülleri 2019 sahiplerini buldu
Weak Translation: Winners of the British Council Alumni Awards 2019 received their awards
Stronger Translation: British Council announces winners of Alumni Awards 2019
Remember, a punchy headline is a great way to pique—and hold—your reader’s attention, and nothing can beat using active voice.
Picking the right tense
A headline that lacks immediacy cannot catch the reader with a sense of immediacy. Marketers know this rule very well and they frequently use phrases like “now / call now” or “limited time offer”, etc. on the design of their media posts. When transcreating into English, make sure to replace messages written in past tense with present tense.
Turkish Source: Koç Topluluğu ve Unicredit Yapı Kredi’deki Ortaklıklarını Yeniden Yapılandırdı
Weak Translation: Koç Group and Unicredit Have Restructured Their Partnership in Yapı Kredi
Stronger Translation: Koç and Unicredit Restructure Their Partnership in Yapı Kredi
Here is another example:
Turkish Source: Kuveyt Türk’ün 2013 İlk Yarıyıl Net Karı; 146 Mi̇lyon TL
Weak Translation: Kuwait Turk Posted 146 Million TRY Net Profit for the First Half of 2013
Stronger Translation: Kuwait Turk Posts 146 Million TRY Net Profit for the First of Half of 2013
Remember, old news is no news!