With the advent of the 24-hour news cycle, journalists have more pressure to find breaking news to cover. The trouble is not every day is an eventful news day.
Journalists are often looking for stories to fill their columns and broadcasts to meet demand. If your small business can write a concise, well-thought-out press release for your event, it may get coverage.
This article will tell you how to write a press release for an event to get coverage and tell your brand’s story.
How to Write a Press Release for an Event
An event press release is just like any other press release. It has to follow the press release format. This format follows what journalists call “the inverted pyramid”.
The inverted pyramid presents information in a descending order of importance. This allows the reader to get all the important information right at the beginning of the story, and it allows editors to make cuts to fit “the news hole” at the bottom of the story.
Your press release has a better chance of getting results if you follow this press release template that journalists use.
Know Your Audience
First, you must know your audience. Are you planning a workshop for chiropractors or a family fun night for parents of school-age children? Whoever your event is for your event press release needs to speak to that audience.
This will also help you decide what news media would be ideal to distribute your press release. Different audiences pay attention to different new sources. Knowing your audience is the first step to having a successful event press release.
One of the most important press release concepts is the five Ws. The first sentence you write for your event press release should answer all of the five W questions: who, what, when, where, and why.
Giving the reader this key information sets up the rest of your press release for success. The who is the audience profile for your story. The what explains what your event is all about and why they should come.
The when tells the reader exactly when your event will take place. The where tells them where it will take place and the why should give them a reason to be there.
Press Release Headlines
You only get one chance to make a first impression. How to write a press release headline is probably just as important as how to write the entire press release. That’s because 59% of all links shared on social media were never even clicked on.
This implies that most people just read the headline, not the story. In order to get shares online, your headline needs to be a good one. Write a headline that will grab the reader’s attention and make them see what you see in your event.
Your headline should be a mini version of your press release. It should convey your entire message in just one sentence. A headline that is properly optimized for search engine optimization should be around 50 to 60 characters long. That’s not a lot of space so you need to make every word count.
The First Paragraph Says It All
The first paragraph is the most important. Use this paragraph to show your creativity and compel the reader to keep reading. Aim for approximately 25 to 30 words, but it is okay to go over that count.
Just make sure your first paragraph conveys the message and has an awesome who, what, when, where, and why opening sentence. Help the reader see what your event is all about in this paragraph.
Remember, this is news writing. Always write in the third-person as if you were reporting on the event.
Start your first paragraph with a dateline. This is the date you want the news to go live, not the actual date that you are writing the press release. Using your location in the dateline helps journalists identify where the news is happening.
Tell Your Story
After you have finished the first paragraph, now it is time to get to the guts of your press release. This is where you get to expand on all the details you probably touched on in your first paragraph. Your guts should be about 2 to 3 paragraphs long.
It’s always a good idea to add a few quotes about the event. Journalists like quotes. Focus on someone who adds credibility to the story. They could be the owner of a small business, a doctor at the conference, or a high-school principal.
Ask Them to Take Action
Near the end of your press release, it is important to include a call-to-action. This is where you invite the reader to take action and come to your event. You want as many people to attend your event as possible, right? So tell them exactly what to do.
“Sign-up to attend before all the seats are taken” or “Join us This Friday for the 2nd Annual Trunk Show at Murray Hill Library.” You can even make your call-to-action a link so when your press release is put online it allows people to click on it to sign-up or go to your event’s website.
Last But Not Least
The last part of your press release is the boilerplate. A boilerplate is included at the bottom of every press release, and it typically doesn’t change too much. Think of this as your about us section of your press release.
Take a look at this press release example and pay attention to the boilerplate. It tells people why your company is a voice of authority on this subject, who your company is, and what it does. It should only a couple of sentences long.
Press Releases Help Your Event Get News Coverage
How to write a press release for an event is just the first step in the process. After your press release is written, you will need to distribute it to journalists to get coverage of your event.