One promotional tactic to draw media and public attention to an event is to send out a general press release to the newspapers in your local area.
A press release needs to have some basic information in it. Even if you are “not a writer” you can put together a press release that works.
How to Write a Press Release for Print Media
How to Write a Press Release for Print Media 1. Gather the information
Before you sit down to write the press release, be sure to have all relevant information at hand. Or keep a phone nearby to call someone else in your organization who has the missing details.
Insider’s Tip: Do not send out press releases with partial information, or with names of unconfirmed or un-contracted attendees. Not only is this unprofessional, it could get you in some legal trouble.
How to Write a Press Release for Print Media 2. The 5 “W’s
Any press release needs to have the 5 “W’s: who, what, where, when and why. Be very specific. Include obvious information.
Who will be performing or speaking at the event? Include information about this person or people. Who are they? What do they do? For what are they mostly known?
What is the event called? Is it a workshop, a lecture, a dance, a festival?
Where is the event? Include the name of the venue, the physical street address, the city, and the state. Do not assume because a place is well-known that this information can be skipped.
When is the event? Include the month, day, the year, and the time. Do not skip the year. Include if the event is during the “a/m.” or the “p.m.” Newspapers receive a lot of press releases, and no editor is going to “guess” when your event is.
Why? Why is the event occurring? Is it a tour date? To promote a new product or service? Is it an anniversary of an event?
Insider’s Tip: The facts are more important than creativity, for achieving some basic news coverage of the event. Don’t worry about trying to make the press release snazzy. As long as you get the basic information across, the editors and writers will take it from there.
How to Write a Press Release for Print Media 3. Include a Media Contact
If you are the contact, include a day time phone number and/or email address where an editor or a correspondent can reach you.
Insider’s Tip: A common mistake for someone new to writing press releases is to include their personal phone number when they are promoting an event at a localbusiness or community organization. Unless you want the public calling on that number, keep it separate and in the top corner.
For for the next step read “How to Format a Press Release.”