As an event organizer and promoter, you already know how powerful an effective press release is. You know that a well-drafted press release can help create the right kind of noise around your event and draw in targeted attention and attendance to your event. While naysayers in the industry call press release archaic, a press release that’s optimized for the web is today one of the most crucial components of an effective marketing strategy.
In this blog, as we discuss how to write that perfect press release for your event, we’ll cover:
- How to identify your target audience
- How to draft a compelling headline
- Everything you should include in your draft
- Some tips and tricks to take it up a notch
- How to promote your press release
Sounds good? Let’s get started!
But first, here are some starting thoughts on crafting your event press release:
When writing your press release, you want to begin with a strong headline that captures the essence of the story. Use the body of the press release to provide more information about the event, including quotes from organizers or speakers. End with a call to action that encourages readers to take action (e.g., buy tickets, RSVP).
Now, let’s break it down into sections and get into the particulars of crafting an effective press release for your event.
1. Identify the target audience for your event
The first step in creating an effective press release is to identify who you should target. Understanding who your audience is will help you craft a message that resonates with them. Ask yourself these questions about your audience:
- Who would be interested in attending the event?
- What local media outlets, bloggers, and influencers may be interested in sharing news about your event?
- Who do you want to reach with your press release?
To research and identify the right target audience, start by conducting in-depth audience mapping. You want to consider the following factors to help you determine the target audience of your event press release:
- Demographic information such as age, gender, and geographical location. If you’ve used ticketing platforms like Ticket Fairy for your events in the past, this data is a few clicks away. All you have to do is go to an event and access the Demographics and Geographics tabs under Statistics for well-presented reports.
- What they value, enjoy, and find interesting (this may or may not always be something trendy)
- Potential motivations for attending an event (what are they searching for in an event – is it just pure fun and excitement, or are they expecting an immersive and transformative experience?)
- In addition to audience mapping, you also want to do some research on influencers that are relevant to your event theme, and who may be interested in attending or sharing information about the event. Utilizing social media tools such as conducting a simple hashtag research can help identify who may be interested in attending your event.
2. Create a compelling and attention-grabbing headline
Writing attention-grabbing headlines is key to making sure your press release is read and shared. It’s arguably the most important aspect of your press release. Your headline should be brief, interesting enough to grab the reader’s attention, and clearly explain what the press release is about.
When writing your headline, you want to:
- Draft your headline last: Writing your headline after completing the main lead and body of your press release helps create a more effective and informative headline. It’s different to gather a succinct and concise perspective of your press release if you haven’t written it yet. Write your headline after, to solidify your own understanding of the press release in order to write a precise and compelling headline.
- Employ powerful and action-oriented phrases: To make headlines stand out, use powerful words that are exciting and captivating. Using powerful and active language gives your press release a sense of authority. Words and phrases such as “electrifying,” “bucketlist event,” “event-of-the-summer,” and “sensational,” are attention-grabbing and create a sense of urgency around your event.
- Include relevant keywords: Let’s not forget SEO! While you want your headline to be creative and enticing, you also want to include keywords that will bump up your event press release on an internet search results page. Including keywords in your headline increases your visibility on search engines such as Google by sifting through related topics to your event. You also want to be careful to avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience might not be familiar with.
- Explain the “why”: Your headline should be attention-grabbing and summarize the main points of your press release. It could further entice the audience if it includes why one should attend your event. Think about the value your event would bring to your attendees, and include a succinct word or phrase in your headline that describes it.
3. Begin your event press release with a strong opening paragraph
The writers among you marketers already know, we’re talking about the lead. Your lead should provide a clear overview of your event. For music events, you have audience members who come for just the opening act; some show up exclusively for the headlining act; and then there are people who are excited by the entire line-up. Similarly, what is your audience going to come to your event for? You want to, in two to three sentences, concisely summarize the most important details of your event that will immediately inform your readers what they need to know and get them amped up and excited to come watch their favorite artist, influencer, or leader, live. You also want to include information such as the date of the event, the location of the event, when to buy or how to RSVP for tickets, and other information you believe your audience would want to know.
To put it shortly, your lead paragraph answers the who, what, where, when, and why of your event, and should strive to be short and accessible for your readers. Your lead is meant to inform and allow your readers to easily locate the most critical information about your event.
4. Focus on the body of your press release by providing additional information
Great, so you’ve made that big first impression with your lead. Your body now can be a bit functional in describing what one can expect, and then, why not also have some known figures – think influencers and keynote speakers – talk about it to hype your audience about the upcoming event!
In two to three paragraphs, you want to provide more detail about your event, extrapolating on the who, what, where, when, and why. You would expand on the information given in the lead by adding more details. Do also include any supporting information or statistics.
Enhance the body of your event press release by:
- Identifying your angle: You want to think about what is the most newsworthy and anticipated aspect of your event. Is it the artist, the keynote speaker, the location, or the theme? Identifying your angle will help you focus your message and make it more compelling.
- Addressing your target audience: Remember, your press release is written for a specific audience. In step one, you did all the work in figuring out your target audience. Take what you think your audience will find most appealing about your event and leverage that in the body. Include information about everyone presenting, hosting, or performing at your event – artists, performers, keynote speakers, and influencer partnerships – that will make your audience look forward to your event.
- Ending your body with a call-to-action: Let people know to take action now by writing a call-to-action. Phrases such as, “Register for more information,” “RSVP now,” and similar action-oriented phrases will prompt your audience into making a purchase. You also want to directly link out to your event ticketing page and social media pages, so you can drive traffic to these pages.
Bonus tip: Include multimedia
You can get as many as 9.7x views on your event press release merely by including multimedia – images alone can double the chances of your press release being noticed and that further doubles if you include a video. The good news is, it’s been a long time since we’ve gone digital, so why should your press release not follow suit and include digital assets? When it comes to press releases, do not undersell your brand or event. Include the most striking, high-resolution media you have that’ll impress and get your audience pumped up for your event.
5. Include contact information
At the end of your press release, provide any relevant contact information, such as important people to contact, sponsors and partnerships, website link, phone number, and email address. This will make it easy for any journalists and reporters to get in touch with you for more information and further promotions. Your audience will also benefit from having a point of contact to ask any questions they may have, or if they want more information.
6. Proofread and edit
Copywriting experts, and a lot of you marketers know that language does impact brand image and purchase decisions. Make a good first impression with error-free content. Before sending out your press release, make sure to proofread and edit it for grammar and spelling errors. It’s also a good idea to have someone else review it to catch any mistakes you might have missed and provide a different perspective which could improve the content and tone of the press release.
Bonus tip: You want to be extra-careful about spelling your partner-brands’ and featuring speakers’ or artists’ names correctly. No brand or artist would take their name being misspelt, well.
Quick and Dirty Tips to Take Your Press Release Up a Notch
Promote your press release extensively. Directly post on your website and event ticketing page and share your press release through email and newsletters with influencer-partners, as well as your team, so they can amplify your event announcement. Reach out to leaders and influencers in your industry or region and create a list of media outlets who may be interested in sharing information about your event. You also want to send in copies to your other partners – sponsors as well as your creative and marketing agencies, if any.
Finally, get the most out of your promotion efforts by use of trending hashtags related to your event.
Writing an effective event press release can help you reach a wider audience, generate interest in, and increase awareness of your event. To sum up, you want to:
- Identify your target audience
- Craft compelling headlines
- Provide detailed information in the body of the press release
- Use a multi-platform strategy to promote it for maximum reach and impact
An effective event press release goes a long way! More people will know about your event, be better-informed about the line-up or speaker-list and more, and you’ll benefit from active and extensive media coverage.