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Press release 101: Get your event noticed the right way

By Sarah O'Brien

Press releases are both the lifeblood of the public relations industry and the bane of many a reporter’s existence. Writing a great press release doesn’t have to be a torturous experience for anyone. If done correctly a press release will get your event the coverage it deserves, could glean you more customers and provide fodder for a follow-up story.

A common mistake marketing department’s often make is that they forget press releases are not meant to be an event flyer. Forget the sensationalism and hype by keeping it straight forward. Write the release in the appropriate fashion and stick to the facts. It credits journalists the ability to make up their own minds on the press releases’s news worthiness.

The key to writing a great event press release is understanding how crucial it is to getting your language, tone, headline and timing right.

Writing an eye-catching headline that’s accurate to the content of your event press release will pack a punch with any journalist worth their salt. Don’t be afraid to employ the use of punctuation in a headline. It can serve to separate news points and save space (think commas), and also act in the place of an attributive verb (colons).

Nail that first paragraph. Get right to the point and grab the reader’s attention. Journalist receive thousands of press releases every day and shifting through them all can be headache inducing. If your press release doesn’t sell your event right away, nobody will read on to figure out why. Figure out what’s most important and use subsequent paragraphs to support those points.

It’s really important to write in the third person (unless directly quoting someone) and call people by their proper titles. Journalists usually make great PR’s, because they understand how to write in the inverted pyramid style sticking to journalese language.

Lastly, we spoke before about the dos and don’ts of littering (hint!) your press releases with buzz words, instead add hard numbers. It will add weight and credibility to your announcement.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to create the perfect press release for your event, then come along to Media HQ’s ‘How to write a great press release’ workshop on the March 8th 2016.

Media HQ’s CEO Jack Murray will take you through the basics of press release writing, measuring the success of your release and offer advice on how to deal with journalists. For more information click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.

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Sarah O'Brien

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