There is a dark cloud looming over the media coverage of business owners.

It lurks behind the Journo Request asking for contributors to feature in articles being written.

It sits just across from the press pitch emails you send.

Many business owners sending active and reactive pitches are blind to the storm that may be brewing in the distance.

If you are caught unawares, it could hit your self esteem and leave you fearing for your ongoing reputation.

What is so dark and dangerous about media coverage?

The article’s headline.

More specifically, when an article you are featured in is published with a SENSATIONALISED headline.

The Power of Attention-Grabbing Headlines in Media Coverage


YOU want your feature to build your profile, grow your audience and bring you business,

The media publication is focused on THEIR bottom line.

How do both parties hit their KPIs?

The article needs to get ATTENTION

– CLICKS, READS. and SHARES (online and conversations)!

The Psychology Behind Sensational Headlines in Media

What gets clicked, read, shared and talked about?



The goal of a sensationalised headline?

1) To stop you in your tracks, mid scroll.

2) To make you FEEL something, i.e.: fear, anger or “OMFG!”.

3) So as a response to that feeling, you click on the link, read the article, run to comments and share.

The fact you are reading now is somewhat evidential.

Be honest… if you don’t usually read my content, or you saw this posted by someone you do not know, with a title that said something like, “Navigating Media Coverage Safely for Business Owners” would you have still stopped to read?

Separate the Roles of Journalists from Editors in Headline Creation

Typically, once they have filed their copy, the Journalist is NOT responsible for what is published.

It is usually an Editor who writes the headline.

When the headline has quoted you out of context, made you look silly, and taken all the gloss out of your powerful, inspiring story, it’s upsetting.

But the Journalist you spoke with has NOT done you dirty!

They would not have been forewarned either.

Their Google or TalkWalker Alert will have alerted them at the same time as yours notified you.

Sensationalised headlines impact them too.

After all, it is their name in the byline, so people usually assume they wrote the headline as well.

The Unavoidable Tabloid Truth

We have been brought up with tabloid press all around us.

We’ve seen the headlines that make us GASP and rant.

We’ve jumped to conclusions about people based on those headlines.

We’ve heard plenty of famous people say how often their words have been taken out of context for headlines.

And we’ve read beyond the headlines and realised the full story was not what we initially thought it was going to be when we saw the headline.

NOBODY is immune to having a sensationalised headline written about them.

PREPARE YOURSELF as it COULD happen to your story when it is published.

Embrace the Potential Rewards Media Coverage Can Bring for Your Business

Although it’s often the national and global press that use tabloid headlines, avoiding widespread coverage is not the answer.

Sometimes articles on local news sites (with a ‘normal’ headline) will be syndicated to national and global sites that will sensationalise the headline (or story).

So, what is the answer… should you avoid all media coverage?


Being featured in the press can amplify your authority, boost your visibility and bring you a flurry of new leads, sales and opportunities.

It can also do absolutely nothing for you, not even adding a new follower.

Ultimately, you never know what benefits might come from having fresh eyes on you and your brand.

And I think it would be a shame to deny yourself the positive possibilities that could come to you through your media features, especially because…

The Odds for a Non-Sensationalised Headline Are Stacked in Your Favour!

Charlotte Crisp heads up Lightbulb Hangout, a 5,000-member strong subscription group that brings together UK-based entrepreneurs looking for media coverage and journalists, producers and editors searching for contributors.

Recently, a couple of members had their stories published with tabloid headlines and shared their experiences in the group.

In response, Charlotte pointed out that in her experience, only a very tiny percentage of business owners’ media coverage receives the tabloid treatment.

So, to sum up…

Prepare yourself as your story could be published with a headline you dislike.

Keep pitching for press because more likely you will be absolutely fine.

For reactive press, search the hashtag #JournoRequest on X/Twitter and/or join Lightbulb.

If you got value from reading this article, please share with your business owner friends who pitch for press to help them prepare too.


Why sharing photos or screenshots of your onlinw or print press/media coverage will land you with a hefty fine!

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Veronica Pullen

Veronica Pullen

The Mile-Deep Marketing Queen at Apples to Oranges Ltd
Veronica Pullen, AKA The MIle-Deep Marketing Queen helps coaches, trainers, consultants, mentors, experts, speakers, and therapists to attract your ideal, like-minded clients from your 'Mile-Deep' Facebook marketing, networking, group challenges, and ads.
Veronica Pullen
Veronica Pullen
Veronica Pullen

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