Getting attention for the sake of attention is a waste of time. Yet that is exactly what much advertising seeks to do. The most ubiquitous example I can think of has been used tens of thousands of times in everything from classified ads to larger media. It goes something like this...
"SEX! Okay, now that I have your attention, let me proceed to sell you this [fill in the blank]..."
The first time you see this, you might chuckle. After that, it becomes annoying.
Let's look at some real numbers from press releases I have written. If you put out a press release, and you were judging it based on total headline impressions, which one would you choose as the winner?
Press Release #1: 124,881 headline impressions
Press Release #2: 73,088 headline impressions
Most folks would rather have the results from Press Release #1. After all, it received 71% more attention. But here's where it gets interesting. Let's look at how many times each press release was read.
Press Release #1: 2,022 total reads
Press Release #2: 3,450 total reads
Now that we have a fuller picture, we can see that Press Release #2 produced nearly 50% more reads despite attracting far less attention.
How many people actually read your press release is what really matters. Your headline can be plastered on every web site on the Internet, but if you fail to attract readers, you haven't accomplished anything.
As you can see, getting widespread attention doesn't automatically translate to results. Therefore, you should focus on attracting the attention of your target audience and nobody else. Claude Hopkins writes in Scientific Advertising...
"Don't, to gain general and useless attention, sacrifice the attention that you want." p. 261
This is critical to remember, no matter if you're writing press releases or advertisements.