An event press release is a statement issued to the media that provides information on a specific event. It includes a compelling headline, event details and key information about your business. You should consider sending a press release a week to 10 days before your event to gain event media coverage and greater event attendance. To get the best coverage of your event, you want to be certain that your press release reaches relevant reporters, editors, bloggers and journalists.
Event Press Release Template
Since journalists and members of the media receive hundreds of press releases, emails and other pitches each day, it is important to correctly follow the industry standard press release format so that your event press release is not overlooked. We created a template to help you format your press release with the five sections you must include so that the reader can pick up all the vital information about your event with a quick scan.
Here’s how to write a press release for an event in eight steps.
1. Determine Your Event Audience
To get started, you will want to create a customer profile that will help you determine who will want to attend your event. Creating a customer profile will allow you to write a press release that speaks directly to your target audience. Your customer profile should include specific demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer.
The specific ways to determine your audience include the following.
Determine Your Audience Psychographics
Psychographics is the term used to describe the characteristics of a potential customer based on their interests, values, habits and demographics.
The specific psychographics to outline include:
- Interests: What interests your ideal audience? What are their hobbies? What do they read or watch?
- Values: What is most important to them? Do they want to support local businesses or a specific cause?
- Habits: Do they have specific habits, like doing their financial planning once a year or shopping for groceries every Friday?
Outline Your Audience Demographics
Beyond your audience psychographics, you want to think about the demographics of your target audience. This will help you tailor your press release to your specific target audience.
The specific demographic information to outline include:
- Age: How old is your ideal audience? What age range would your event appeal to?
- Gender: What gender is your ideal audience?
- Income: What income range does your ideal client fall into?
By knowing the interest, values, habits and demographic profile of your ideal audience, you can write an event press release that will appeal directly to them. Combine this info into a profile template to get to know your audience and make sure your event press release speaks to them.
Examples of Event Audiences
|Fundraiser for a local non-profit||Middle-aged couples, and older singles who enjoy doing things for the community. They will pay for classy event, knowing their money is going to help a cause they care about.|
|Botox Party||Women, 40-60 years old, upper middle class, who enjoy being pampered. Busy professionals who feel they deserve a little time for themselves.|
|Introducing a new monthly membership for a private jet company||Business professionals 30 to 60 years old, that enjoy travel for both business and personal.|
2. Write an Attention-grabbing Headline
A press release headline serves as the title of your press release and will sit at the top center of the press release. Your headline should immediately grab the attention of the reader and offer a compelling reason to attend your event. Headlines should not only generate interest but also to entice those reading it to put your event on their calendars right away.
Your headline should focus on the most important or exciting detail of your event and be between 65 to 80 characters long. Sticking to this length will give you a better chance of being picked up by search engines and will also allow you and others attending to share your event press release on all social media sites without the headline being cut off.
Some people have found it helpful to write their headline after writing the rest of their press release. If you save the headline until last, you’ll have a better understanding of what you want to convey in your headline. By making your headline the last thing you write, you might find that you can better express your thoughts into one creative, captivating, well-honed, short headline.
Here are the steps to writing a compelling headline.
As mentioned above, it is important that your headline be short. You want it to communicate the most important elements of your event clearly. You want to let the reader know why they should be interested, but, be concise. Remember that when Google indexes your press release, which means making your press release easy to find in a search, it will cut off your headline if it goes over 80 characters.
Include Your Location, Event Theme & Event Name
One way to grab the reader’s attention is to tell them right in the headline what the event is, what it is about, where it is or what the theme for the event is, depending on the type of press release your are issuing. If you are targeting the right audience, this will grab their attention right away and get them to read further.
Keywords are the words that someone is likely to type into a search engine, like Google, when searching for a specific topic. Ideally, you will want your keywords to be in the first one to three words of your headline or in the first 65 characters.
If you choose to use a service to distribute your press release like eReleases, having these keywords in your headline will play a critical role in its overall visibility and getting found by those searching for something related to your event.
Use Title Case
In order to follow industry guidelines regarding your press release, you will need to use title case formatting. That means capitalizing the first letter of each word. Another thing to remember is that most syndication or distribution sites will not allow you to capitalize an entire word, for any reason.
Example of an Attention-grabbing Headline
3. Write a Descriptive Subheadline
Subheadlines are optional, but they offer a place to give a little more information about your event to grab the reader’s attention. Subheadlines sit right under the headline itself and are also short, but can be a little more catchy than the headline itself.
Be certain that your subheadline captivates and adds to the headline. Slightly more than 79 percent of online readers scan more than they read. By creating an attention-grabbing subheadline, you will be able to capture readers’ interest and give them the reasons why they would want to attend your event, even if they only scan your press release.
Here are the steps to follow when you are writing your subheadline.
Build Off the Headline
Your subheadline should be consistent in tone and structure with your headline while offering more information. You can use your subheadline to create additional excitement around your event.
Below is an example of a subheadline that builds off of the headline and generates additional excitement around the event. The headline tells the reader who the headliner will be at the party, where it is and the name of the event. Then, the subheadline tells the reader how big the event will be and the exact dates. This would create some buzz and excitement for anyone that is involved in the LGBT community.
Example of Press Release Subheadline Building Off the Headline
Keep your subheadline length to 20 words or fewer. The press releases that get the best results, in terms of being read and written about in the media are always around this length.
Example of a Good Event Press Release Subheadline
4. Write a Captivating First Paragraph
The first paragraph of your press release should be a summary of the most important things that you want the reader to know. This paragraph is where you want to include any relevant information about your event. These logistics might include when tickets will no longer be for sale, the event dates, age restrictions or other critical information.
Your first paragraph should be around 25 words. If you can stick to this length, you will have a better chance of getting picked up by media outlets and of increasing awareness and buzz around your event. Keeping this paragraph short will allow readers to find important details easily, even in a quick scan of your press release.
Below are the steps to follow when writing your first paragraph.
Begin with the Date & Location
You want to start your press release with the date that you want the release to be live and the city that the press release originated in or the city the event will take place in. Media outlets will look for this date to know when you want to publish this press release.
Answer the ‘Who, What, When, Where & Why’
In your first paragraph, you will want to answer the who, what, when, where and why of your event. This will allow you to give all the information someone will need or may want before they decide to attend your event. Keep succinct in the first paragraph — you can expand this information further in the body of your press release.
These are the questions your first paragraph should answer:
- Who: Who is hosting this event? Who will the event benefit? Who else will be there?
- What: What is happening? What is the theme? What is being offered? What is being celebrated?
- When: When is this event happening? Is it happening on a special date?
- Where: Where is the location of the event? Is there anything special about the location?
- Why: Why is this event happening? Why is it a certain theme?
Keep Your Language Simple
You want your press release to be easy to understand for anyone that might read it. So, avoid any industry-specific phrases or jargon that aren’t quickly understood. If people have to think too much about what you are saying, they will be less likely to be interested in reading more.
Example of a Good First Paragraph for an Event Press Release
5. Write the Body of Your Press Release
The body of your event press release is where you can get into the story and then expand on the details you mentioned in your first paragraph. The body portion of the press release will usually be two or three paragraphs. Talk about the target audience, any guests who will be featured and their background and the benefits of attending.
If the venue is historic or ties in with your event in some way or the date coincides with history or a special anniversary with your company, mention this. This part of the press release can be a bit more descriptive than previous sections.
Here are the items to include in the body of your press release:
Expand on the ‘Who, What, When, Where & Why’
In the body of your press release, you will want to write more details about your organization as it pertains to the event. If you have been hosting this event for 12 years, you should include that. If you have had local celebrities emcee your event in previous years, you can mention that. If you are the oldest, biggest or most awarded in your industry, you can include that as well. Adding these additional details gives some weight to your press release.
Talk to Your Ideal Audience
You will want to offer specific reasons to attend your event, so include any event details that your ideal audience might be interested in being a part of. You can talk about any guests who will be performing, attending or speaking and their background, along with any other event happenings and benefits to attending. Whatever the specific appeal of your event might be, you want to explain that in the body of your press release.
Include a Call to Action
You will want to let people know how to attend your event by giving them a specific action to take. This is called the call to action (CTA). Since the success of your press release is going to be determined by the number of people that actually attend your event, this is an important step. In order to have good attendance, you will want to have a specific CTA in your press release.
A CTA is a sentence in your press release that tells your reader exactly what you would like them to do. In this case, you could ask them to register for your event or even put it on their calendar. When you do, talk directly to your reader: “Register to save your seat today.” You could also use “Sign up to attend now before all the wine glasses are taken.” Include a link that will take them directly to your event website or landing page.
Example of a Press Release Body
6. Write Your Boilerplate
A “boilerplate” is basically the “About” section from your website in a condensed form at the end of a press release. It tells the reader more about you, the event or the reason for the event. Your boilerplate includes business operating information. A boilerplate is about 100 words in total.
Here are a few things you can include in the boilerplate.
- Why you are hosting this event
- How many years this event has been happening
- Links to any high-profile influencers coming to the event
- A link to your website
Show Your Credibility
The main goal of your boilerplate is to build credibility. The best way to do that is to share a few facts about your organization, such as your history, good standing in the community, how many generations managed the company or how much money your nonprofit has raised. Be creative in describing your organization, so that people are interested in learning more about it. Check out our full article for tips and examples for writing a press boilerplate.
Example of a Boilerplate
7. Check Your Formatting
Now that you have finished the writing, you will want to double check some basics for press release formatting. Journalist and media outlets expect those submitting press releases to follow a few basic guidelines so that they know exactly where to look when scanning your press release. So, give it a second look, to be sure you haven’t missed any of the standard formatting requirements.
Verify Your Release Date
If your event is taking place in the near future, you will want to have the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the top of your press release.
It will look like this:
But, if your event is still a little ways away, then you might want them to hold your press release until closer to your event, that is called an “embargoed” release. In that case, you would want to put the words “Embargoed for Release” and then add your date and time.
When you do an embargoed press release it will look like this:
Choose a Basic Font
Use one consistent and popular font throughout your press release. Using a standard font will make it simple if news outlets decide to run your press release as written. Picking a standard font usually means using Times Roman or Arial fonts.
Check Your Font Size
Double check that your font sizes are in line with industry standards. Below are a few guidelines for font sizes for the various sections of your event press release.
- Headline: 14 point Times New Roman
- Subheadline: 13 point Italics Times New Roman
- Body Text: 12 point Times New Roman
Write in Third Person
You should write your press release in a voice that will allow it to be picked up anywhere and read by anyone. To accomplish this, you should only use a third-person voice throughout your press release, including in the boilerplate copy. Doing this will ensure that your press release won’t require additional edits before being picked up on major media outlets.
8. Begin Distributing Your Press Release
Now that you have written a captivating and irresistible press release, you are ready to get it into the hands of journalists, reporters, bloggers and other media outlets. Doing this will help boost your attendance because they will want to write about and possibly attend your event. You can distribute your event press release in a variety of ways but, for the best results, you should do all three distribution actions below.
Use a Distribution Service
Using a distribution or syndication service to put out your press release will ensure that your press release gets sent to the right media outlets and reporters. When you use a service, you will use a form on their site to write and format your press release, and then they will distribute it for you, based on the timeline you give them.
If you use a credible syndication site, like eReleases, for your distribution, you will be able to reach thousands of news agencies, including TV stations, major news networks like Fox News, MSNBC and other news journals and websites. The cost for this service is typically between $99 to $300, and you can receive 33 percent off your first press release.
Post on Your Website or the Event Website
You can use your press release as content on your website or the event’s website. When you personally syndicate your press releases, you will assist in increasing the overall visibility of it. Posting it on your website along with using a syndication service will increase the exposure of your press release, which will help drive attendance and awareness of your event.
Post a Link to Your Social Media Pages
You can use the link from the distribution service or from your own website to post your press release on social media as well. This way, your fans and followers can see it, perhaps decide to attend your event, invite their friends and share it on social media as well.
The Bottom Line- How to Write a Press Release for an Event
Event press releases can be a great part of the marketing strategy for your event. While you can be somewhat creative with your text, you want to be sure that you follow the correct format so that the media knows exactly where to look to get the most important information about your event.
Frequently Asked Question
How does one get started with learning about press release classes?
You might start with talking to someone at your community college. You can also contact local media outlets to see where they obtain press releases from. Consider contacting newspapers and radio stations. Perhaps there’s also a group that does networking in communications and media in your town. If not, surely you can find like-minded people on the internet, such as on Facebook or Twitter, or start your own press club and invite aspiring writers to join.