Press releases are such useful tools! Here’s how to write one specifically for an upcoming event. The basic principles, however, apply to writing any press release.
Step 1: Identify your hook
Remember that a press release is just that: information you are releasing to the media in hopes that your story will be published and read by large numbers of people. Frequently, a press release that goes on line will stay on line, to be read by people long after your event has occurred.
So, in order to make your story attractive to the media, you need to identify an angle on your event that people are likely to want to read. For example, a fund-raising auction may or may not be of interest to the general public. What is it about your particular auction that is valuable to readers? Is the money going to a valuable cause? Will your auctioneer be a famous fellow with a terrific skill at bid-calling, an entertainment in himself? Will there be a big selection of weekend vacation homes?
Step 2: Essential information
Once you have figured out your “hook,” you can put down the essentials: who the release is written for or about, contact information, when it’s OK to publish the information, and what the title and date are.
For: Edgeport Community Hospital, 174 Van Dyne Street, Edgeport, Connecticut, 03345
Contact: Marjory Crafter, (203) 489-1834
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[TITLE] Hospital’s auction offers opportunity to bid on a night in haunted mansion
[LOCATION] Edgeport, CT, April 13, 2010 –
Note that your title is the first spot to mention your hook. “Annual hospital auction” simply will not do. In the above case, while there may be many other items up for bid, the haunted mansion is probably the most exciting possibility, and it’s highly likely that readers will want to know more-and keep reading.
Step 3: The meat of the release
Make your opening statement a direct follow-up to your title. In the example we’re talking about, for example, you might open with “Edgeport Hospital’s annual auction offers an overnight visit to the Sloane Mansion and its ghosts.” Then develop this idea with your most interesting information about the mansion and the auction.
In an additional paragraph or two, provide more information that is less essential but still of interest, including, for example, who the caterer is, how long the hospital has been holding an auction, what the money goes for, what some of the other items are, whether the auction is formal or informal, etc.
Conclude with everything people need to know about how to participate in the auction, including how to register or buy tickets, ticket prices, phone numbers, email addresses or internet links, when and where the event occurs, and anything else people should know in advance.
Follow these steps and your press release should grab your media contacts-and garner the publicity you need for your event.
Copyright (c) 2011 Jane Sherwin. You may reprint this entire article and you must include the copyright info and the following statement: “Jane Sherwin is a writer who helps hospitals and other healthcare facilities communicate their strengths and connect with their readers.”