You may have planned a perfectly-timed, highly-accessible conference featuring an impressive lineup of speakers, sessions and events. But for your event to be truly successful, it must attract attendees. In addition to advertising and promotions, you can effectively publicize your conference with timely, well-crafted press releases. Write each piece to compel both traditional and online editors to publish your information; they are the conduits to your target markets. To achieve press-worthiness, think like your editors while you write. Answer their universal question, “What’s in it for my readers?” and then provide newsworthy conference material to engage them.
Write "For immediate release" at the top of the page. Align this flush left.
Center a compelling headline on your page that allows an editor to quickly grasp the value that your conference would bring his readers. In no more than 20 words, preview your press release’s contents and entice further reading. Add a subheading in italics if you need to further expand your headline. Avoid mentioning any names except for those of well-known individuals. For example, write “ABC Conference to Offer Sneak-Peek of Tomorrow’s Toys,” followed by the subhead “Actor T.H. Plans Play-full Keynote Address.”
Begin your first paragraph with a dateline and then present your conference’s basic facts, including its “who, what, where, when and why.” For example, write “Orlando, Fla. – Organizers expect more than 10,000 enthusiasts to attend ABC Toy Association’s four-day conference this year, scheduled for October 10-14 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. The ABC Toy Conference is the largest of its kind nationwide. Actor T.H, of (movie) fame, will present the keynote address.”
Provide conference details in your second paragraph. For example, write “For 25 years, ABC Toy Conference has drawn attendees from more than 25 countries. The event features roughly five miles of exhibits from veteran and emerging toy manufacturers. Participants come to test and trade the latest products and services, build their networks and attend education sessions conducted by toy industry experts.”
Provide a quote in your third paragraph from a well-known industry source. For example, write “Actor T.H., an avid toy collector and designer, is planning an unusual keynote address. ‘I have been coming to this event for the past 10 years. It gets seriously better every time. This year, we will do what I have long been planning as a keynote worthy of this event: Play!’”
Conclude with boilerplate information about your company or host organizer. “For example, ABC is the nation’s premier trade association for the toy industry. Founded 25 years ago, ABC is dedicated to the U.S. toy industry’s prosperity here and abroad.”
Identify yourself as the media’s "Contact:" for more information . Provide your name, email address and phone numbers. You may list this information at the top or bottom of the page.
Plan three to four releases to publicize your conference, including a “Save the Date” release shortly after final arrangements have been made with your venue; a “Call for Presentations (or Papers)” about four to six months in advance; a main release with greater detail about one to two months out, and a final release after the event is completed.
Keep your press release to within a page; two at the most. Double-check for spelling and grammar errors; remember that editors tend to be sticklers for such things.
Distribute your release both in print and online. Include significant keywords in your heading and subheading for readers to quickly find your press release. Also use hyperlinks within your text to connect your readers to your homepage, conference website, photographs of past events and other sites that will provide further context and insight.
You request editors to not use your information until a specified time. Replace “For immediate release” with “Embargoed for:” followed by your preferred date and time.
You may create a press kit to go along with your main release. Include a company overview, information about key products and services, photographs and materials that will help editors understand your conference with greater depth.
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