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How to Write an Effective Event Press Release and Distribute It

Yapsody Event Ticketing - How to Write an Effective Event Press Release and Distribute It
Yapsody Event Ticketing - How to Write an Effective Event Press Release and Distribute It

Announcing an event is easier than ever in the digital age. In addition to social media platforms, you also have the choice of making the announcement through your website and online media outlets.

Should you decide to announce your event through online media (and even traditional media), you’ll need an event press release, though. But how do you write one? This article breaks the process down. But first:

What Is An Event Press Release?

An event press release is a brief written statement about an upcoming event, whether in-person, hybrid or virtual events. This type of press release can also announce other events that include:

  • product launches (product press release)
  • corporate takeovers (acquisition press release)
  • Charitable and fund-raising initiatives
  • new hires (new-hire press release); 
  • company accomplishments (award press release)

The common thread that runs through these event announcements is their adherence to news values. Although event press releases can be published on an organization’s website alone, they’re typically sent to relevant media channels for wider distribution. 

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Importance of Press Releases for Events

A well-crafted press release can convince the recipient media outlets to attend your event and create news content about it. They may also create this news content based on your press release, without necessarily attending the event. Whatever the case may be, the media outlets will end up promoting your brand or organization to their respective target audiences. The resulting publicity will help you reach a wider audience and meet your event goals. 

In other words, event press releases are worth considering. But your job doesn’t end after writing and distributing your event press release. You also need to track them for success. Among other things, this entails mastering Google Analytics if you published your releases on your site. With all this valuable information, you can make the necessary adjustments to your future event press releases and campaigns and ensure better publicity for your next events.

How to Craft An Effective Event Press Release

If you want media outlets to take notice of your press release, you need to know how to craft it in the first place. Here are tips to follow when writing an event press release:

Start with a Strong Headline

Your press release’s headline can determine whether your target audience reads the rest of the release. Thus, aim to craft attention-grabbing headlines. Pay attention to the length. Draft a concise yet informative headline that summarizes the event announcement in 80 characters or less. 

In the image below, the press release by Parkwood Entertainment keeps its headline short:

the press release by Parkwood Entertainment keeps its headline short

Source

At 30 characters (including spaces), the headline succinctly explains the event being announced: the release of pop superstar Beyonce’s new album.

Provide Essential Information

Every effective press release answers the five W’s and one H. In no particular order, they are the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Thus, share information about who’ll be hosting your event, what it entails and why it’s happening. Say where, when and how it will be held, too.

This information will help potential attendees decide whether to put in an appearance.

Expand on the Story

Quotes from company stakeholders, guest speakers, and other notable special guests are great elements to include in your event press release. These short passages not only let you expand on your story but also lend your event an air of credibility. Also, if the quoted individuals are well-known and liked, their statements can get readers excited about the event. 

See how the press release below incorporates quotes:

See how the press release incorporates quotes

Source

The European Research Council includes one from its president, Maria Leptin (highlighted in red).  

You can also expand on your story by including relevant statistics and numbers in your event press release. For instance, if you held a job fair, you can give a breakdown of the number of companies that participated per industry. 

If the event you’re announcing is held annually, why not add some information about the same event held the year before? Specify who your keynote speakers were, how many attended, among other things. This additional information can give the media and your other event press release readers an idea of what to expect in the next event. 

Include Relevant Visuals

Include high-resolution images of notable speakers, company logos, and other visual elements when creating a compelling press release. High-quality images can be a key element that convinces readers to attend. If you see how attendees enjoyed last year’s event in pictures, wouldn’t you want to attend the same event this year?

High-quality images also enable your readers to visualize the information you provide. That ensures they understand your message. It also helps keep them engaged enough for them to continue reading until the end.

how Illumina gives context by featuring the picture of its new appointee, Joydeep Goswami, prominently in the event press release.

Source

See above how Illumina gives context by featuring the picture of its new appointee, Joydeep Goswami, prominently in the event press release.

End with Contact Information

Your press release must end with boilerplate text containing key details about your company. This information serves two purposes: it reiterates who you are and what you do and gives recipients contact details to use if they have additional questions. 

Thus, sign off your press release with your company mission statement and basic contact information (contact email address), as Apple does below:

Source

The above-mentioned components form the basis of a standard press release format. But you can also add other components like your social media handles and company address. To do that, you can create a digital business card and share contact details, social media links, and company address details. This makes this section look uncluttered and lends a professional touch.

Best Practices for Event Press Release Distribution

After completing the writing phase, you’ll need to integrate a seamless digital marketing strategy to maximize the reach and impact of your event press release. Start by following these best practices:

Create a Comprehensive Media Contacts List

Before sending your release to media outlets, make a list of the ones you’d like to cover your event. The main criteria for choosing them should be whether they’re relevant to your industry. 

For example, if you operate in the Software-as-a-Service industry, one of the best B2B strategies would be to prioritize technology publications. If you operate in the food industry, your best options are food magazines and culinary TV programs.

Just go to the media outlet’s website to get their contact details. If you don’t find that information there, you can always use an email finder.

Submit to Reputable Press Release Distribution Sites

If you want the widest reach possible, consider using a reputable press release distribution site. 

These websites offer the quickest way to make an event announcement. They have a vast distribution network that ensures your published content reaches newsrooms and influential websites. Some, like PR Newswire, for example, even let you reach news outlets in other parts of the world. 

Just do a quick Google search of press release distribution services, and you’ll get a list of options:

Do a Google search of press release distribution services, and you’ll get a list of options

Once you make your choice, go to their website. You should find the steps you need to follow to submit your content.

Identify Journalists and Make Your Pitch

Aside from media outlets, you can also send pitches directly to journalists. 

Be selective about who you pitch to. Before anything else, check the types of news reports each journalist comes up with historically. With this approach, you’ll get a good idea of whether or not they’d be interested in your event in the first place. If you resist the temptation to distribute your press release indiscriminately, you won’t only increase the chances of your release receiving a warm reception. You’ll also save time and resources.

Once you’ve identified the journalists who might be interested in your event, send them a polite email with details about your event. You can, again, use an email finder to get the relevant contact details. 

Common Mistakes in Event Press Releases

If there are best practices to follow when it comes to event press releases, there are also mistakes to avoid. Let’s break them down:

Ignoring the Target Audience

It’s worth bearing in mind that media outlets have their own audiences’ interests to cater to. As such, there’s no getting around the fact that your event must align with their audience’s interests.
If you send your release to outlets that aren’t interested in what your company does, they won’t pick it up, even if it’s a slow news day.

Poor Headline

As already mentioned, your headline can determine whether your recipients read the rest of your release. Don’t make it too long and ambiguous. The recipients of your release are likely busy individuals, and will be pressed for time when they see your release. The last thing you want to do is annoy or bore them with a wordy and vague headline.

Here’s another tip: Avoid headlines that don’t take search engine optimization into account. 

Google typically displays a maximum of between 60 and 80 characters in search result link titles before using an ellipsis to cut them off. Adhering to the search engine’s character constraints will ensure that the full headline shows up in search results.

Ignoring Formatting Guidelines

Your press release should follow the general formatting guidelines discussed in this article’s how-to section. If the distribution press release service you choose has other specific formatting guidelines, follow these as well. You can get an idea of how they want their press releases to look by checking out the pieces that are already published on their site.
In addition to giving your release a familiar structure that your recipients will expect, the format makes it skimmable. If you ignore it, you’ll be testing the patience of busy journalists and media house representatives.

Neglecting Follow-Up

It’s unlikely that every journalist and media house you send your press release will respond immediately. Some of them may be extremely busy and your press release may slip under their radars. Thus, you mustn’t neglect to follow up with the people and organizations to whom you’ve sent your press release. Aim to follow up within 24 hours.

When you receive a response that isn’t positive, make sure you still reply even if it’s just a simple “thank you for your time” message. Even if your pitch was rejected, there’s still that opportunity to foster a long-term relationship. These strong relationships with the media can help ensure the success of your PR content outreach campaigns in the future.

Conclusion

Writing an effective event press release is easy when you know what goes into one. 

Successful releases begin with a compelling headline before providing information about the event’s five W’s and one H ( the what, why, when, where, who, and how). They also include high-quality visuals and quotes from guest speakers, statistics, and others to expand on the story. Finally, event press releases aren’t complete without your company’s contact information and boilerplate statement.

Avoid making some of the most event press release common mistakes like ignoring your target audience, using poor headlines, discarding formatting guidelines and neglecting to follow up. 

Now that you know how to effectively write and distribute your event press release, go ahead and do just that. Reap the benefits of enhanced visibility for your brand/organization now.

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