In event marketing, a formal press release can be a very important asset. A well-written press release can ensure the media is aware of your event’s existence. The media in turn will pass the news to the public and preferably, your target attendees.
What’s also great with a press release is that they are relatively cost-effective compared to other marketing tactics. However, a press release will only be valuable when it’s written properly. If you send something that’s below standard, it’s quite likely the journalist will pass on it.
Writing a good press release, however, can be quite challenging, but it will be really worth it in the long run not only in securing more press coverage but also ensuring you are communicating the right message to your target audience.
Looking to write a better press release? You’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, you’ll learn about, among other things:
- How to optimize readability on your press release
- How to make sure your press release is attractive with an effective hook
- How to make sure your press release gets read and helps you attract more attendees
Without further ado, let us begin right away from the basics.
What Is a Press Release and What Is It For?
A press release, in a nutshell, is a fairly short written document (typically just one or two pages long), which includes an official statement that is going to be delivered to the media.
The purpose of the press release is to provide an official piece of information, in this case, about an event, so that the media can forward this information to the public (our target attendees). So they can be aware of the existence of the event, get the right information, and ultimately, be interested to register/purchase a ticket to the event.
While we can use press releases for many different purposes, some common objectives in the scope of event planning and event marketing are:
- To get media coverage for your event
- Build brand awareness and reputation
- A cost-effective way to market your event and attract attendees
- For SEO purpose, to generate high-quality backlinks from trusted media sites
To achieve these objectives, however, a well-written press release is necessary, and that’s what we’re going to learn in the rest of this guide.
Essential Elements of an Effective Event Press Release
While you can structure your event press release in many different ways, all effective event press releases should include the following elements:
Pretty self-explanatory, you’ll need a strong and catchy headline that will attract journalists and your target audience. If you are also planning for SEO, then make sure to also optimize the headline with your target keywords. Google will index 60 characters, so make sure to include your keywords upfront whenever possible.Obviously, make sure to include the name/brand of the event in the headline, and if possible, the location and/or theme of the event.Keep the headline concise and to the point. You don’t want to include too many details upfront (that’s where the body of the press release comes in).
You’d want a well-written summary that captures all the important points of the press release in one to four sentences. It’s best to write this section last after you’ve got the finalized draft of your press release’s body.
Your opening section should have a 20-30 words-long dateline section that will offer a definite time and place information for the event, and the format should be: City of the event, State, (the name of the media/website publishing the press release), Month, Day, and Year. You can also include other details in this section, but keep it short.
Pretty self-explanatory, the body of the press release should be the biggest part of the press release itself where you’ll provide as much (interesting) information as possible about your event. However, keep the body of the press release concise and short: it’s better to have a short press release that is really good, rather than a long one that nobody reads.
You can typically include the essential information in just two or three paragraphs. Especially communicate who your target attendees are, any notable speakers/exhibitors/event headlines that are worth mentioning, and communicate the values and benefits of attending the event to persuade target attendees.
Mention any other notable and interesting things about the event, venue, date of the event, and other details. Again, optimize this section so that it’s as attractive as possible.
The about us section, also called boilerplate in the context of a press release, is another very important section that you should heavily optimize.
Write this just like how you’d write an about us section on your website where you should provide details about your company: who you are, what services you provide, what past events have you organized, your mission and vision, and if necessary mention key executives of your company. This is your company’s professional business card that you’ll publicize to the media and the general public, so optimize it well.
After reading your press release, journalists may want to contact you directly. In order to let them do so, create a card with all the most important contact data about the spokesperson or author of a press release.
The Best Event Press Release Structure for Readability
While you can use various formats for your event press release, here is our recommendation to ensure your press release is well-optimized for readability.
- “For Immediate Release”
- Press contact information:
- Phone number
- Other necessary details, keep it short
- Summary in bullet points
- Introductory paragraph (City of the event, State, (the name of the media/website publishing the press release), Month, Day, and Year.)
- The first paragraph introducing what your press release is about (the event’s outline)
- Go into a bit more detail in the second paragraph. Include a relevant quote if possible
- The third paragraph is about providing any more relevant information about the event
- About us/Boilerplate section
Event Press Release Best Practices
Now that we’ve discussed the optimal format of an event press release, here are some tips and best practices in developing the perfect press release:
- The first impression does matter
The journalists reading the press release are busy, and if your press release isn’t interesting within the first few words, chances are they’ll simply move on to the next press release on their desks. Start out strong and be as attractive as possible within your first words.
- Make information easy to find
Make it as easy as possible for the journalists to find the relevant information. Keep the press release short and to the point, ideally within 300 to 800 words. Again, don’t waste the journalists’ valuable time.
- Avoid passive voice
Use active voice unless it’s absolutely impossible. Active voice typically helps in allowing the reader to get clearer information, and can also help in maintaining engagement.
- Don’t hard sell
Stick on the relevant information. You don’t need to sell your event as “the best on the planet” or other clichés.
- Identify your key person
Make it clear who the point person for your event is, of whom readers can direct their questions and inquiries.
- Timing is key
When you send the press release is actually very important. Sent too early before the event registration launch and your target audience won’t remember it. Sent too late, and you might not get the desired target attendees. In general, send the press release two or three weeks before the event launch.
- Keep it professional
While you can use an informal tone every now and then, depending on the nature of your event, it’s best to use a professional tone throughout the whole press release. Again, don’t hard sell and aim to be informative.
- Send to the right publication
Send the press release to publications of which their readerships (or viewerships) align with your target attendees. Also, consider geographical location.
Things To Avoid When Writing a Press Release
Here are some don’ts you should avoid when writing and sending an event press release:
- Don’t include every information possible and make the press release too long. You can drive the readers to your website or social media profiles for more information, which can actually be more effective in attracting more conversions.
- For online release, avoid including an email address unless it’s absolutely necessary. The email could be targeted by spam bots which may be counterproductive.
- Don’t use more than one hyperlink if it’s an online release, search engines may view the press release as spam.
- Don’t use multiple exclamation points, jargon, clichés, and other things that might lessen the credibility of the press release. Keep it professional.
- Avoid using too many/too long bullet points. Press releases are best when presented in paragraphs. Too many bullet points might also be viewed by Google and other search engines as SEO over optimization.
Now, you have all the techniques and tools you need to create an attractive and optimized press release for your event.
See how Eventtia can help you plan and deliver your event press releases from development to publication. Get started with Eventtia’s event marketing platform today!