How to Write Press Releases for Promoting an Event
Drumming up publicity through well-crafted press releases for an upcoming event is one key ingredient to attracting guests. Whether you are generating media attention for a fundraising event, the opening night of an art exhibit or another type of large-scale social gathering, your press release lets the media and public know the nature of the event and whom you want to attend by giving details about the purpose and goals of the gathering.
Make the best first impression with journalists by using the standard format for writing press releases. When journalists or editors can quickly scan through your press release and understand the details of the event at a glance, they will be more likely to follow up and write a story about your event. The standard format to follow includes a headline, three or four paragraphs describing the event, and then additional information such as the event address and contact details. Always write in third-person -- do not use the pronoun "I."
Although you are sending your press release to local media organizations and journalists, you need to pay attention to the readership. Choose newspapers and magazines whose readers will feel motivated to read a press release about your activity or event. For example, find papers that normally present information on charity galas, if your event is a fundraiser. Do some research about each media organization where you plan to send your press release and make appropriate alterations to fit the tone of your press release to reach that specific readership.
Treat your press release as an objective news piece about your event. Provide the essential facts, referring to your organization by name and as the subject of the piece. You will not address your readership directly; instead, simply provide details about the event. Write confidently and make sure to address the five critical "W's" and "H" of reporting: who, what, when, where, why and how. By adhering to this basic ideal in writing, you will help to instantly pique the journalist or editor's interest.
Since the details are so crucial in your press release, make sure to proofread more than once, especially to get contact information right. Worse than not sending out a press release at all is sending one with inaccurate information. Protect your reputation, as well as that of the event you are promoting, by perfecting your press release copy before you send it out. By submitting thoroughly proofread and clean copy, you will help build a professional relationship with journalists and editors whom you will probably contact again in the future.