As things in the PR industry return to business as usual, live events are making a roaring comeback. When it comes to deciding how to write a press release for an event, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
In this guide, we will break down how to approach writing a press release for an event and share some best practices.
Writing the perfect press release will play a pivotal role in attracting and maximising the interest of journalists and their media outlets.
Information overload is common in press releases, so it’s important to include only the most relevant details.
The goal of an event press release is to give journalists the information they need to write a story about the event, without overwhelming them with too many details.
Now we’ve set the stage, let’s explore how to write a press release for an event in more detail.
The Four Types Of Event Press Releases
Before putting pen to paper, it’s important to understand the four types of event press releases:
- Information on upcoming closed events where journalists are exclusively invited to attend or purely to announce the closed events will take place.
- A summary of details on closed events that have already happened.
- Information on upcoming open events with the hope of encouraging media outlets to invite their audiences to the events.
- A summary of details on open events that have already happened.
How To Write A Press Release For An Event (5 Key Elements)
This is an opportunity to quickly grab the journalist’s attention. A short and snappy headline will ensure the journalist wants to read on and find out more about the event.
Sure, this is far from ground-breaking advice – but it’s important nonetheless. If the basic elements of a strong press release are missing, this will affect the press release’s ability to deliver results.
Strategic Tip: To optimise an event press release for search engine results pages (SERPs), use a title case for the headline.
Also, it’s worth remembering that Google will only index up to 60 characters and Yahoo will index 120 characters for the title. With this in mind, try to avoid long, sprawling headlines – as these may get sliced up in the SERPs.
When a journalist does not have time to read a full press release for an event, their eyes will naturally move toward a few key bullet points or a short paragraph at the top of the release.
Summarising the event with a couple of brief takeaways is potentially an effective way to communicate the key points around the event and justify why the event is newsworthy.
Strategic Tip: Carefully consider where to position the summary in the event press release. Having the summary at the very beginning of the press release is not always the best option. Some PRs summarise the event at the end of the press release – so they can get the rest of their key points down first.
Lead Paragraph and Dateline
A lead paragraph is typically anywhere from 25 to 30 words in length and covers only essential details of the event. A dateline is a short piece of text that is always placed at the very start of the press release.
Typically, a standard press release dateline will state the location. The Associated Press (AP) has a consistent style for writing datelines that is widely adopted.
Here is an example of this format:
LONDON, UK. (March 15, 2012) — The Olympic and Paralympic Games are slated to…
Strategic Tip: Upon writing a lead paragraph for an event press release, consider whether the paragraph addresses the “who, what, why, when, where and how” questions for the event.
The body of an event press release will break down the “who, what, why, when, where and how” questions in far greater detail. It’s an opportunity to build context around the event and explain why this is relevant to a media outlet’s target audience.
This component of an event press release can feel more descriptive than other components – but still carries a clear structure.
Strategic Tip: While building context around the event, try to keep the body of the event press release relatively focused. Those struggling to create a clear structure should refer back to the “who, what, why, when, where and how” questions and build paragraphs around these.
The boilerplate statement is a paragraph of text that should follow the body of the press release. This will include important details about those behind the event and potentially name a few key people involved in making the event possible.
When a company or organisation is behind an event, a boilerplate statement may include a brief summary of its mission and core values.
Strategic Tip: A boilerplate statement is designed to build a public persona around those behind an event. Leverage the statement to highlight the company or organisation’s achievements.
3 Common Event Press Release Mistakes
Failing to break down industry-specific terminology
It’s often easy to take industry-related terminology for granted, especially when the writer is surrounded by those who work in the same industry.
While the journalists at the media outlets on the mail list should have some industry knowledge, failing to break down industry-specific terminology could prevent journalists from understanding aspects of the event and its relevance.
Assuming journalists are entirely unfamiliar with the event’s niche
It’s a balancing act. While breaking down industry-specific terminology, do not assume that journalists are entirely unfamiliar with the event’s niche.
After all, even if their media outlet covers a broad range of topics and an eclectic mix of industries, a complete absence of knowledge seems unlikely. In other words, avoid talking down to the journalists.
Ideally, PRs want to let the event press release speak for itself. However, some journalists will inevitably have some additional questions to create compelling and genuinely insightful content around the event.
With this in mind, including a range of contact details and website links on a press release is a no-brainer. Linking to additional resources can also condense the document.
Finding Useful Event Press Release Examples & Templates
There is no shortage of event press release templates and examples available online. While some sample press releases for events are stuck behind a paywall, other event press release examples are available for free.
Accesswire’s event press release example stood out to us as a strong template for PRs to build upon. Take a look at the same press release for events here.
Create A Stunning Online Media Kit With Releasd
Aside from issuing press releases, there are other ways to cut through the noise and capture the attention of journalists.
While many Releasd users utilise our platform to create stunning PR activity reports – the platform can also help you create engaging online press kits too.
Here’s an example media kit:
To learn more about how to create eye-catching reports and press kits with Releasd, contact us today to get the ball rolling.