If writing a great event press release were simple, anyone would be able to do it. There are a lot of moving parts that go into an effective press release that will actually be picked up by news outlets, and too few businesses see success when they pitch their stories because they just can’t quite grab a journalist or editor’s attention. News outlets see hundreds, if not thousands, of pitches and press releases every day. They’re seasoned at picking the wheat from the chaff. Do you know how to give them what they’re looking for?
Unless you’re dealing with a local paper or magazine, it’s unlikely that simply stating that you’re having an event is going to get much traction. You have to set your event apart and show the media what makes it special. You need to tell a story. Find the meat — what will make people interested? What makes this event something that they can’t miss? Tease out the unusual and unexpected elements, such as fundraising for charity or featuring a cooking competition in the middle of a concert. You have to find a way to make your press release interesting to someone with no connection to your event and no knowledge of your business.
Start with the most important, impactful statement right away. As mentioned above, they’re going through hundreds of emails a day, so you need to stand out immediately. Your subject line should be clear — no flowery language — and get right to the biggest draw. The opening paragraph should summarize your story quickly, packing a nice punch that tells them why they should care. That way, they’ll keep reading.
Remember, you’re writing an informational press release, not an opinion article. Brevity is the soul of wit, as Shakespeare said, and it’s also the soul of the press release. Maintaining reader interest is a good idea, but you should be doing that through information and detail, not clever tricks of language. Another person will ultimately be writing the piece, so give them what they need to write it well and no more. Any quotes should humanize the piece, rather than reiterating information you already shared.
If all this is still sound exceptionally complicated, don’t worry. Crafting a great press release is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time to perfect. Thankfully, a good PR firm can help in this area. It’s a public relations professional’s job to know how to craft a release that will grab attention and get your story picked up. Whenever you need a helping hand, they should be the first place you turn.