Letter - Fact: press release heads do woo hacks

It was to be another routine warning on behalf of Trading Standards urging people to be on the alert for letters from Spain seeking money in return for non-existent prizes. The type of press release that would probably end up being reduced to a filler paragraph.

Then our press officer Simon Eden added the headline: 'The Claim from Spain Is Money Down the Drain.'

Result? The story appeared in most of our local media as a page lead, and led to requests from radio stations for interviews with one of our team.

It may also come as a surprise to Keith Elliott (Letters, 6 Oct) that far from angering local journalists, Simon's headline was used word for word in several papers. More importantly, thanks to that brilliant headline, our message reached our target audience - people who may well have been conned into parting with their hard earned cash or pension money.

I can assure Keith that we do tell it straight, but it is important for press releases to stand out from the crowd.

Nigel Galloway, news manager, West Sussex County Council.

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