When you type “event press release example” into Google, it spits out 730,000,000 results, including endless templates, examples, and samples. What else is there to add?
Wanting to write something new, I decided to include a few befriended journalists in the process.
What have I learned? First of all, if you’re reading this because you don’t know how to write press releases, you’re not alone. According to them, at least 60 percent of outreach practitioners feel your pain. Here’s how to write a proper press release for your event.
- How to write an event press release
- Press release writing tips from journalists
- Event press release examples
- Event press release template
How to write an event press release
Pay attention to the format
Writing a press release for an event is just like any other press release. Whether you’re using a press release template or creating your own, make sure to include:
- Title – telling what the news will be about
- Lead – a summary of your event press release
- Body – elaborating on the details provided in the lead
- Date of publishing – ensuring the event press release is timely
- Boilerplate – a short description of you and/or your business
- Contact information – contact details of the author, company and/or the PR agency
Protip: If you like to invite a journalist to your event, you should also send them an actual invitation (besides the press release), clearly stating the date, time, and venue.
There are 4 popular types of event press releases:
1. Information about upcoming closed events where we invite journalists or simply announce they will take place
2. Information about closed events that have already taken place
3. Information about upcoming open events with the intention of using the media to invite their audiences
4. Information about open events that have already taken place
Find media contacts interested in your event
A key factor in getting your press release picked up by the media is pitching to relevant journalists and bloggers—people that are interested in writing about your event.
An easy way to find relevant media contacts interested in your event is by using a media contacts database.
You can refine your search by filtering where a journalist is located, or what topics/industries he or she is interested in. This is a much better approach than the “spray and pray” method, hoping that someone will be interested in your story.
Press release writing tips from journalists
Before you write a press release about an event and then send it to relevant journalists, you should first answer a couple of questions:
1. Does the media outlet I’m addressing cover similar events?
2. Does the journalist that I’m addressing deal with my subject matter?
3. Will the journalist find all the info necessary to write a useful article for their audience?
4. What is the most important thing in my event press release, and will it be enough for the media outlet to publish it?
These few points do not exhaust the press release writing issue, but should at least help you get started.
The most important insights in this article, though, come from the journalists I spoke to – each a recipient of dozens of press releases daily.
- Journalist A: Covering investments, construction, architecture, and real estate
- Journalist B: Local news, city life, and local government
- Journalist C: Lifestyle, fashion, beauty & cosmetics, and design
- Journalist D: Art and culture
Below are some of the things pointed out by the people to whom we send our event press releases and invitations. Let’s check how they define writing a good press release about an event:
1. Avoiding the “flowery style” of writing event press releases (adjectives, praises, and exaggerations)
Journalist A: I like figures, facts, and sensible quotes instead of a bunch of adjectives and silly references.
Journalist B: You’re doing it wrong if you’re using a million descriptions like “an amazing, one of a kind event that will forever be remembered.” The journalist, then, not only has a difficult time grasping the most important info about the when and where but also may be discouraged from looking hard to find it
Journalist D: When it comes to the language used, I strongly advise against using the so-called cool words as well as overusing capital letters. Even if the headline is interesting, the journalists will most likely not want to spend the time adapting your language to their standards.
2. Presenting solid facts that interest the press about your event
Journalist A: When I get a press release from an event where there were substantial talks on some issues, I would like to also get quotes on investments, trends, forecasts, etc.
When I read that “the market is growing” or “the future is bright” I begin to lose my will to live. When organizing a conference to which you invite journalists, I would also stay away from “We are happy to announce,” “It is our honor to…” or “With joy we…” When I plan to attend a conference I’m only interested in what will be talked about and who will do the talking.
Journalist B: When you send a press release to a city paper about a concert of a lesser-known band of a niche genre, other than just naming the music category (for example eco-hip-gothic rock), please list something known that the audience can compare it to. After all, this will be read by everyone.
Journalist C: If the event is really a new thing, something non-standard, it makes sense to cover everything from A to Z, starting with the things your reader will find the most interesting.
3. Not sending your press release to a media contact who doesn’t cover your niche
Journalist B: It is common practice that the capital city paper gets flooded by spam from a concert agency organizing events all around the country.
Journalist C: Every day, I get hundreds of emails from all kinds of sources and in my work, time is of the essence. I have just a few seconds to look through each, and the ones that irritate me the most are the ones that should not be there at all.
Working in the event department of a fashion magazine, I am not very likely to use your press release about a chicken beauty pageant or the grand opening of a new ceramic tile production line. It’s really crucial to check your contact database and only send out useful info.
4. Adding enormous attachments to your event press release
Journalist A: When it comes to grand openings, good pictures are key. We probably wrote about the venue before, so we have some knowledge about it, but a good summary is always welcome.
Journalist B: Putting just the name of the event, the date and the link to a Facebook page description is extremely bad practice. If you didn’t feel like copying the info from your FB page to the email, you can bet that I have no interest in it either. Plus, I am not obligated to have an account on every social media site.
Journalist C: Attachments are incredibly important. They must be of appropriate size and format so that looking through them will not require time and effort.
5. Keeping in mind the “sound” frequency of calls, emails, and follow-ups
Journalist C: Calling in your press releases is typically frowned upon and is generally treated like telemarketing. Journalists try to distance themselves from such PR pros. On top of that, it’s usually an intern without a clue that does the calling. It’s a little easier when you personally know the journalist but it’s still a better practice to send them a follow-up email instead.
Journalist D: There is one thing that we really don’t take kindly to. That is sending the same press release to all the email addresses at our office and repeating the process every couple of days. That will undoubtedly land you in the spam folder.
When you think about it, calling may not always be bad. Sometimes we get a poorly written press release, but later the PR department or an agency calls and clarifies or fills in on some info that for some reason was omitted. And it turns out that that’s exactly what we’ve been missing for the article.
Journalist B: If you decide to call, you should have it clear how to approach us, journalists, beforehand. Most calls I receive start with: “Hello, we sent you a press release about the premiere of XYZ. I just wanted to know if you got it. Is there a chance it’ll get published? Did you find it interesting?” It almost always starts like this.
6. Telling the truth
Journalist B: A certain music store wanted to promote their event so much that finally, their rep said that the reader “would like to know about this kind of an event.” That effectively ended our conversation. If that’s how you feel then you should go with paid advertising.
Here’s another true story from my time in the city pages: Some PR department announced an event, the paper wrote about it, after which the PR department called and asked to add that an event is a closed event…
But nothing beats the fact that every so often I get calls asking to print some info about an event in a newspaper that has not been put out in years. Once a lady called me, wanting to publish something in our sports section. I asked her when last she had seen our paper. She said “Yesterday.” The only problem was the paper hadn’t been published for six months then, and when it had been, it had never had a sports section.
Journalist D: It is very unprofessional, yet common, to call and ask, “Has anything been printed yet?” – if you really need to know, buy the paper and check. It’s the same story with calls wanting to know if we got the press release.
Event press release examples
Each event press release example below was created with Prowly’s Press Release Creator – a handy drag & drop tool for creating visual press releases that you can share with a simple link.
- Multiple networking events press release example
- Music festival event press release example
- Non-profit event press release example
Networking event press release example
Music festival event press release example
Non-profit event press release example
Event press release template
If you’re short on time, here’s a sample press release template for announcing an event that you can download in DOCX or PDF format.
Summing up – how to write a press release for an event
The first thought that comes to mind after reading this is that a big part of creating effective press releases is the ability to think critically about your event.
To truly sum up this article, though, I would like to share a piece of advice given to me by my first PR boss when I was starting out – “The key to success is to know and like the media. Getting to know the way they work, their office realities, and listening to their anecdotes about their experiences with PR pros.” Just like the ones shared above.