You are planning an event and you have everything you need – a venue, decorations, all the necessary marketing materials – but what about the guests?
How do you get people to attend your event?
When you want to share upcoming events and news with people, a go-method is to create a company or PR press release.
The term “press release” might seem old-fashioned, since it is reminiscent of magazine and newspaper clippings, but they are still a tried-and-true method for advertising an event, they have just moved to email and online newsletters.
The aim of a press release is to grab the attention of anyone who reads it and to get them interested in your event.
But how do you do that?
Well, there are a lot of methods detailing how to write a press release for an event that you can easily apply to your own.
These strategies and ideas are outlined below along with several dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you are creating your press release template.
Press Release Example Format
A well-written press release should contain six sections that each serve a different purpose in marketing your event:
Headline or Title
The headline of a press release works the same way it does for news articles. The title will be the first thing the reader sees, and you need to grab their interest. Make it short but also make it interesting – no more than 60-120 characters. Search keywords that relate to the event you are promoting and use them in your title for search engines. Headlines are also formatted in the Title Case to be more eye-catching. Look at similar press releases to yours to get a general idea of what headlines are good and rank highest on Google.
Summarize Your Release (aka Lead)
Similar to what is done with an academic paper, the top of your release should have a few sentences summarizing what you are promoting. Talk about your event without going into too much detail. This is to keep the interest of the person who read the headline. When writing an event press release, you should not include “fluff”. Be concise and stick to the facts.
Date and Main Paragraph
This is the section where you can go into more details but keep things simple. Answer the classic who, what, when, where, why, and how about your event. Give the reader the time and place of your event in a few sentences so that they immediately know if the event is something they can attend. When including addresses, dates, and times, make sure to be specific.
Get into even further detail about the event, such as the story behind it, what guests can expect when they come, why this event is important. If you are celebrating a specific achievement, anniversary, or holiday, make sure to mention this. Keep this section around 2-3 paragraphs long.
Boilerplate (aka About)
This part is known as the boilerplate statement. Add a few sentences explaining your business or PR company to the reader. What services or products do you sell? What is your company’s mission statement? Let the reader know who is throwing this event so that it is more personable. Don’t, however, make it sound like a sales pitch.
Finally, make sure to include all your contact information at the end of the press release. Let those who are interested in your event know where and how they can contact you if they have any questions. Include as much information as you can, such as a phone number, an email address, a company address, a website, etc.
10 Tips on How to Write a Press Release for an Event
1. Do Not Make It Too Long
Your press release should not be longer than a page. Most people will not read an email or article if it is too time consuming. They want to get as much information as they can in a short amount of time. Put the necessary information near the top of your release so that more people are likely to see and read it.
2. Consider Who Will Be Reading It
Are you sending this to several publications to be printed? If that is the case, make sure you tailor your press release to suit the audience of each website or journal. If you are sending your release to a local publication, say why the event is important for the community. If you are printing your release in a niche website, such as one for businesses, say why the event could be good for small or large companies.
3. Include All the Fun Details
You want people to be excited to attend your event. Let the reader know what makes your event different and why it will be fun. If you are having special food trucks catering or are giving out free prizes, let people know that. It will make them more interested in coming and might make them bring more people.
4. Make Your Release Eye-Catching
Do not just include text in your press release. You will be more likely to grab the attention of the reader if you include visuals, such as stock photos, company logos, infographics, and pictures of the venue. This is especially crucial with an email because photos are a key way to get more engagement.
5. Include Call to Action (CTA) Buttons and Link
Call to Action words are phrases that grab the attention of the reader and get them to do something, such as “Click Here” or “Shop Now”. In your press release, include links or buttons with Call to Action words that will lead the reader to more information or your website home page.
6. Come Up with a Catchy Subject Line
If you are sending out your event press release via email, make sure your subject line is something that will interest your subscribers. Include capitalization, emojis, and creative phrases that will attract their attention so that they open your email. It is important, however, not to go overboard with emojis or capital words, or else it will look like junk mail.
7. Review Your Release in a Mobile Format
There is a good chance that most people who will see your press release will be reading it from their phone. It is, therefore, important to test your press release in a mobile format. Make sure that it is readable and that any pictures or bullet points are not off-center or poorly placed on the page. Your press release should be as mobile friendly as possible.
8. Figure Out a Good Time
You should send out your press release to publications or in an email with enough time before the event for people to plan. Do your attendees need to order tickets, do you need to book vendors or speakers? Make sure your press release corresponds at a time when tickets are available and when you have everything booked for a nearby date. Do not release it before you have booked a place and vendors or after guests have enough time to sign up or purchase tickets.
9. Advertise on Social Media
On top of sending out your press release via email or publication, you should also advertise your event on social media and link to the release for more details. You will reach a different audience via social media than what you reach in email and website releases. This will make sure that more people are aware of and attend your event.
10. Include All the Keywords You Can
What important keywords are there for your event? Make sure you add all the necessary keywords to your press release so that it ranks high on social engines. Do not add too many keywords, however, to the point where your press release does not sound natural. Search engines will not rank it high if the language sounds spammy. If your release ranks high, it will result in a higher attendance for your event.
Types of Press Releases
There are many businesses that send out press releases for many reasons. Releases do not just have to be to promote an event. They can also market company news or product updates. Here are popular types of press releases that companies distribute:
1. Business Events
Is your business hosting or sponsoring an event that you want people to know about? Sending out press releases informs local news and niche publications about your event. It is important to include specific time, places, dates, and what the event is for. Are you looking for sponsors? Check out our guide.
2. Product Launches
Promote a new product or service your business is selling by sending out a press release to any publication that the product suits. Make sure your release includes what the product is and what it does. The product specs, such as pricing and when it will be available, should also be included.
3. Changes Made to Products
Any updates made to products can be announced via press releases, as well. Are you extending a popular product line to include different styles or new sizes? Let your audience know by sending out a press release.
4. Corporate News
Will your company be going through a new merger or acquisition? Let the public, your customers, and your stakeholders know about this by sending out a release detailing what company you are merging with and what your company has to say about it.
5. Grand Openings
This kind of release works for completely new businesses or those who are opening new locations. Market where any new location is, what the business will be selling, and when this will be happening in a press release to any interested parties.
6. Updated Logos/Slogans
Are you rebranding your business and updating any logos, slogans, or line of products? This process can be very time consuming and cause confusion, so it is important to let as many people as possible know what you are changing and why. Also let them know when these updates to your brand will be made.
7. New Employees
Do you have new executives or company owners that you want to let shareholders and customers know about? Inform them about new employees through a press release to establish credibility. It helps to include personal details and photos of the new executives.
8. New Business Partners
This press release is like corporate news dealing with mergers. If you have new business partners, let your shareholders and customers know who they are and how they will benefit the company by sending out a well-crafted press release.
9. Company Awards
Did your company receive any awards? This is a great way to establish credibility within your niche and can attract new customers. Send out a press release including what award your business won and any other related information to the award or ceremony.
10. Trade Shows and Conferences
Most industries have niche-related trade shows several times throughout the year. If your company is planning on making an appearance at a trade show or conference, let your customers know where your booth will be and what time you will be available to talk.
What to Do
1. Instantly grab the reader’s attention so that they read your whole release.
2. Use active voice instead of a passive voice.
3. Include contact information of a specific person who can answer questions guests have about the event.
4. Review your event press release several times for any grammatical mistakes and to make sure it reads well.
5. Keep your release up to a page in length (no more than 800 words).
6. Add a sense of urgency so that your reader will be excited to RSVP or get tickets to your event.
7. Make sure you keep your language professional. Do not use slang or too many interjections.
8. Explain why your event is being held and why it will be important for people to come.
9. Make sure that it goes out with enough time for people to sign-up and purchase tickets. Try two-three weeks before the event.
10. Create a template that you can use for future press releases for other events.
11. Send out press releases to different publications so that more people are likely to see it.
What Not to Do
1. Send out your release to publications in HTML format unless specified, because some of them might not support or understand HTML.
2. Add special characters or dashes to symbolize line breaks.
3. Include a bunch of links. This will come across as spammy and will not rank well on search engines.
4. Use long bulleted lists. Extensive lists are also perceived as spam when writing a press release.
5. Insert a lot of capitalization, exclamation points, and interjections. It will not look professional.
6. Use the terms “we” and “I” when talking about a company.
7. Refer to those reading the press release as “you”. It should read more like a news article.
8. Include all the information you linked to in the release. If you are inserting a link with more information, let the reader go to the link.
9. Make it sound like you are trying to sell something. While this is an advertisement for an event, it should not sound like a sales pitch.
10. Use too much flowery language to pad the release out. Keep it simple and to-the-point.
11. Come across as overconfident or stretching the truth to journalists. Tell the truth about your event to publications if you want them to promote it.
Press Release Template
Here is the basic template for a press release promoting an event. This press release example can change depending on the business and what the release is promoting. Feel free to style it to make it more personable to your business for future use:
Learning how to write a press release for an event will generate more interest so that you have higher attendance, success, and revenue. Doing it right will also attract more attention toward your event, improve your rankings on social engines such as Google, and will help build your brand locally and in publications. That is why using a press release is still an important factor in marketing a successful event.