It’s important to spread the word about your work. That’s why you should know how to write a press release for an event.
Companies have used press releases for many decades. Although marketing and journalism have been changed by the Internet, they are still relevant today.
A well-written press release can help you…
- Get more people to attend your event.
- Raise more money for your cause.
- Increase awareness around your brand.
The way to write a press release is not very different from writing an event listing. But there are a few differences that we’ll go through.
1. The release date
First things first: You need to decide on the release date for your event press release. You should let media outlets know if it’s for immediate release or time-limited.
If your event is coming up soon, you should write “For immediate release” at the top of the press release.
If your event is still some time away, you should specify when the press release should go out. In this case, write “Embargoed until [date]”.
2. The headline
Your headline should be attention-grabbing. It’s the first thing people will read. Your headline should entice the reader to read the rest of the press release.
Here are a few rules of thumb for writing a good headline:
- Use Title Case
- Use popular keywords and search terms
- Keep it to a maximum of 80 characters
- Include event name, theme, and location
A good idea is to write the headline last, because you’ll be better able to focus on what matters.
Further reading: 5 Easy Tricks to Write Catchy Headlines.
3. The subheadline
The subheadline is the next stage of grabbing the reader’s attention. You can include a bit more information here, but keep it concise as well.
It should expand on the information in the headline and nudge people into reading the first paragraph. Keep the length to a maximum of 20 words.
4. The first paragraph
Congratulations! You’ve made the reader curious enough to read the actual press release.
Now you need to hold their attention. To do that, you should include all the vital information they need to decide if your event is for them.
What to include in the first paragraph:
- What the event is about and what will happen.
- Why the event is happening and for what purpose.
- When the event is taking place.
- Where the event is and which venue it’s hosted in.
- Who is behind the event and who will be attending.
You should still keep it relatively concise at this point. Stick to 25 words or less. You can expand on all these points in the body of your press release.
5. The body
Now that you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to flesh out your press release. The body will give you another two to three paragraphs to work with.
Use the body to expand on the points you covered in the first paragraph. You can use the body to tell the reader about…
- The charity you’re fundraising for.
- One of the entertainers that will perform.
- How you’re, say, celebrating a decade in the business.
The most important part of your body is the call to action (CTA) at the end. You can, for example, tell the reader where to book tickets and when they’ll be sold out.
6. The boilerplate
The final part of your press release is the boilerplate. It’s journo-speak for a short biography or an “About You” section.
The boilerplate should be around 100 words in length. You should use it to build credibility around yourself and your brand as an event planner or business.
Here’s what to include in your boilerplate:
- Who you are and what your company does.
- Why you’re hosting this event and for how long.
- A link to your website and social media.
Include anything else that you feel will make you stand out from the crowd.
Further reading: How to Write a Boilerplate for a Press Release in 7 Steps.
10 tips for your event press release
You now understand the basics of how to write a press release for an event. But there are a few more tips that’ll make your event press release stand out from the crowd.
1. Write in the third person
You should write the press release (including boilerplate) in the third person. That’ll make it easy for anyone to pick up and read.
2. Use a captivating image
Your press release should include a high-resolution image that reflects the theme of your event. It’s as important to get right as the headline because it’s the first thing people see.
3. Use emotive language
Use words that trigger certain emotions in the reader. If you’re fundraising for a charity or planning a party, your language should make the reader get in the mood.
4. Include influencer endorsement
It can be very effective to include an endorsement from an influencer or local celebrity.
5. Highlight an unusual venue
If your event is taking place in a peculiar venue, be sure to emphasise it. The “where” often attracts as much as the “what”.
7. Use of awareness days
If your event coincides with International Day of Whatever, feel free to piggyback off that attention. For example, host a pancake event on International Pancake Day.
8. Use news stories
Feel free to make references to news stories in your press release. If you’re launching a new ice cream during a national heatwave, then include that story.
9. Celebrate your anniversary
Company or career anniversaries attract attention and build credibility. If your event coincides with an anniversary, then include it in your press release.
10. Be the first to do something
Anniversaries are interesting, but so is being the first at something. If you’re launching the first app that filters out all Brexit news stories from TV, then emphasise that in your event press release.
Distribute your press release
You’ve made it. You now know how to write a press release for an event—and then some!
Remember to also post your event press release on your website and social media platforms.
Want to add anything from your own experience with event press releases? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.