An event press release announces the details of an upcoming event to the media to gain press coverage and increase event attendance. Learning how to write one isn’t complicated, and can be done by identifying your audience, setting up the header, crafting a captivating headline, writing the body of the press release detailing your event, adding a boilerplate, and including a call to action.
Free Event Press Release Template
It is vital that you use standard event press release formatting because journalists expect and prefer to see press releases in this format. Releases that don’t use standard formatting may appear unprofessional or incredible to journalists. To take the guesswork out of the writing process and download our free event press release template, which follows all of the steps below.
A well-written press release is only the first step in ensuring your event gets the publicity it needs to be a success. It also needs to get picked up by journalists and influencers. A service like eReleases can increase the size of your audience and help give you a better return on the time you spent writing your release as it offers advanced targeting options and a network of more than 5,000 outlets.
If you would prefer to create your own template or read more about how to use ours, here are the steps on how to write your event press release in greater detail:
1. Determine Your Event Audience
To write an effective event press release, start by pinpointing your target audience or ideal attendee. By knowing exactly which types of people would be most interested in learning about or attending your event, you’ll be able to craft a press release that appeals to them, gets media coverage, and increases event attendance.
This is similar to identifying a target audience or ideal client type for your business, which usually includes demographics like age, gender, and geographical location. You should also consider your target audience in terms of how far they are willing to travel for a particular event, what they value, what interests them, and what will motivate them to go to your event.
2. Set Up Your Header
Next, lay the foundation for an effective press release by using industry-standard formatting as it pertains to layout. As trivial as it may sound, those who overlook this formatting may appear less credible in the eyes of the press, and with that, get overlooked by the media.
The correct formatting and layout include your business name or logo centered at the top, followed by your release date (“IMMEDIATE” or “EMBARGOED”) left-aligned, and following that, your contact information (name, phone, email, and website) aligned on the right side of the page.
3. Write an Attention-grabbing Headline
Below the header is your headline, which should be centered and be about 65 to 70 characters, but no more than 80 characters, in length. Arguably the most crucial element for the success of your press release, the headline is the first thing journalists consider when deciding whether to read the rest of your press release. You want your headline to immediately grab the attention of the reader and give a compelling reason to attend your event.
Here are some tips to help you write a captivating event press release headline:
- Use language that incites interest: Make your headline enticing using action verbs to induce excitement or urgency around your event. For example, “celebrating,” “must-attend,” or “calling all…,” as illustrated in the headline examples below.
- Include the reason to attend: You may think it’s obvious, yet in most cases it helps to include the “why” behind the event. For example, attending a marketing conference may seem to hold a clear purpose, but digging into that deeper, the “why” may not simply be to learn more about marketing, but to learn low-cost ways to land more sales.
- Use social proof: If you have a celebrity involved in your event, such as a well-known author speaking at your event, or a famous brand is sponsoring your event, add interest and clout by including this type of social proof in your headline.
- Include your location, event theme, and event name: Another way to grab the reader’s attention and get them to read further is to tell them right in the headline what the event is, what it is about, where it is, or what the theme or name of the event is.
- Use keywords: Keywords are the words someone is likely to type into a search engine, like Google, when searching for a specific topic. If you use a service like eReleases to distribute your press release, having keywords in your headline increases the overall visibility of your release and its chances of getting found online by people searching for something related to your event.
- Add a subheadline: Subheadlines are optional, but advisable, since they give you another place to give information about your event that can grab the reader’s attention. Subheadlines sit right under the headline itself and are also short, and can be a little more intriguing than the headline itself.
Some people find that it’s easier to identify the most important details to include in their headline after writing the rest of their press release. If you find yourself struggling to write a great headline, try moving on to the next step and write your headline last. Get more ideas for writing attention-getting headlines for events and other types of press releases.
4. Write a Strong First Paragraph
The first paragraph of your press release summarizes the most important things the reader needs to know. This paragraph is where you include the most relevant information about your event. This might include where to buy tickets or RSVP, when tickets will no longer be for sale, the event dates, age restrictions, or other critical information.
You should limit your first paragraph to around 25 words to have a better chance of getting picked up by media outlets, and, in turn, of increasing awareness and buzz around your event. Always start the first paragraph with the location (usually the city and state) and date of your press release—not the event you’re announcing. From there, answer the who, what, when, where, and why of your event as succinctly as possible.
For more information, check out our article on how to write a press release.
5. Write the Body of Your Press Release
The body of your event press release is where you dive further into the details, expanding on your summary paragraph. The body of your press release should be two to three paragraphs in length, and its content will further help appeal to your target audience. It should list any notable guests attending or performing, the timeline or activities that will occur, and the benefits of attending your event.
Here are some ideas and tips for writing the body of your press release:
- Expand on the “who, what, when, where, and why”: Share more details about your organization as it pertains to the event. If you’ve hosted this event for 12 years, include that. If celebrities have been part of your event in previous years, mention that. If your business is the oldest, biggest, or most awarded in your industry, include that as well. Adding these types of details gives more weight to your press release.
- Speak to your target audience: You want to highlight the specific appeal your event has for your ideal attendee in the body of your press release. Include any event details your target audience might be interested in being a part of. Talk about guests who will be performing, attending, or speaking, along with any other event happenings and benefits to attending.
- Include a call to action: 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 may depend on the number of people that actually attend your event, this is an important step. For example, your CTA might be “Save your seat today,” which is linked directly to your event registration landing page.
- Embed media: Give your press release visual appeal by embedding (or attaching) multimedia, such as images or videos. Adding multimedia also gives journalists the ability to share it as part of their coverage, making your press release more eye-catching, interesting, and thus, effective.
6. Add Your Boilerplate
A boilerplate is a one-paragraph description of your business and should be no more than 100 words in length. It tells the reader more about your business, the event, or the reason for the event. Your boilerplate includes information that highlights special aspects of your business and its operations, especially as it relates to your event or would interest your ideal attendee.
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
- The email or phone number (or both) of the primary contact for more information
Check out the step-by-step details on writing a press boilerplate.
7. Distribute Your Event Press Release
Now that you have written a compelling press release promoting your upcoming event, it’s time to distribute it so that it gets into the hands of journalists, reporters, bloggers, and other media outlets and gets maximum reach with your target audience. You can distribute your event press release in a variety of ways, from direct outreach via email to distribution services and social media. For the best results, use a combination of distribution channels.
Here are the leading ways to distribute an event press release:
- Reach out to local media outlets: Create a list of local press contacts by researching media outlets in your area and the area where your target audience is. Typically, you can find email contact information for journalists and reporters on the website of local media outlets. If not, you can use an email finder tool.
- Use a press release distribution service: Get your press release in front of thousands of media contacts by using a press release distribution service like Newswire or eReleases. It’s the most cost-effective way to guarantee broad reach and potentially earn additional media coverage. For more information, check out the best press release distribution services.
- Post on your website: Your website should include information about your event, such as an event landing or ticketing page. Moreover, many top businesses have a dedicated press page on their site where they publish press releases. If you don’t have a website, learn how easy and affordable it is to build and manage your own website using one of the best website builders.
- Share it on social: 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.
For additional information, learn more about how to send your press release to ensure maximum exposure and press coverage for your event.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which press release distribution services offer location targeting?
If you’re not looking for national coverage, location targeting is crucial to the success of your press release―and your event. Unfortunately, many press release distribution services don’t offer location targeting. However, two of the best services do, including eReleases, which offers location and audience targeting, and Newswire, which offers targeting by location and industry.
What other ways can a business promote an upcoming event?
Press coverage is only one of many ways in which a business can promote an upcoming event. For example, you can list your event on directories like Eventbrite, sell tickets on sites like StubHub or Groupon, use social media and email marketing, promote your event in-store and to neighboring businesses, share information through your local Chamber of Commerce, take out a local newspaper ad, or try radio advertising.
Check out other ways you can get the word out in your community with the full list of local advertising ideas.
How do I sell tickets to my event online?
There are two main ways to sell event tickets online. First is by selling tickets directly from your website, and the second is to sell tickets using a third-party website, such as Eventbrite, StubHub, Groupon, Tripadvisor, or even Airbnb Experiences (depending on your particular event type). Businesses often use a combination of the two (such as on their own website and on an event ticketing site) for more visibility.
Event press releases are valuable tactics in event marketing strategies. While your content can be creative, be sure you follow the standard event press release format so the media and your target audience get the most important information about your event. Finally, make sure you distribute it to as many press contacts and outlets as possible to land the most coverage. The best way to do this is by using a distribution service like eReleases.