How to Write and Send Out an Event Press Release

Intelligent Relations
By Intelligent Relations Team

An event press release is used to advertise any type of notable special event to the media. By distributing a press release to relevant news outlets about an event, it can generate buzz and ideally media coverage, and also attract an audience.

Maybe you need a press release for an event because you want the media to attend and provide coverage after the fact, or maybe you’re drumming up awareness for public invitations, or maybe you just want to publicize a milestone for event sponsors.

Whatever the case may be, this guide will walk you through every step of the process, covering:

At the end of the guide, we’ll also include press release examples and templates to assist you.

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What are the main types of event press releases?

There are many different types of event press releases. Which type you need depends on what kind of event you’re planning.

Below is a list of a few press releases you might use for a particular event.

  • Award Event Press Release – Perhaps you or your organization will receive or bestow an award or accolade. This can inform the media and public about a recipient’s success.
  • Launch Event Press Release – A launch event press release advertises an event that represents an official launch—for a venture or product, for instance. This press release may be used for a single celebration or multiple cross-country events.
  • Annual Event Press Release – The annual event press release announces the return of a well-known community event, whether a yearly conference, county fair, or formal gala. This press release puts the event in context. (i.e., “Why does it matter this time around?)
  • One-Time Event Press Release – If the event in question is an isolated occasion, this press release will elaborate on its uniqueness. This could be anything from a special concert performance to a temporary museum exhibition.
  • Fundraising Event Press Release – Write a fundraising event press release simply to publicize an event hosted to raise donations for a chosen cause, with details on attending for the public.

What should I include in a press release for an event?

A press release for an event promotes an occasion either to gain media interest and coverage of the event or to amass a larger in-person audience for attendance.

Since the press release targets the media and the public, it must answer the “5 Ws”:

  • Who: is hosting the event?
  • What: is the event being hosted for?
  • When: is the event? (Exact date and time)
  • Where: is the event? (Exact venue and accessibility)
  • Why: is this event important or newsworthy?

These requisite 5 Ws should all be answered and appear in the first paragraphs of the release. 

How do I write and format an event press release?

Press releases aren’t particularly complicated, but it’s essential to follow their time-tested guidelines to include all relevant information and meet the press release format standards.

If you stray too far from the established layout, you risk alienating journalists or confusing readers, skimming the press release just to get the details.

Lay it out

Press releases are succinct single-page documents laid out similarly to news articles. The underlying goal is to inform, so the event press release must be easily readable.

Both press releases and news articles follow an “inverted pyramid structure,” where the most important information appears at the top and the less important at the bottom.

Your event press release layout should look something like this:

  • Title – This names the event and its venue in as few words as possible.
  • First paragraph – This satisfactorily answers all of the 5 Ws, providing the essential information about the event. 
  • Second and third paragraphs – These offer more details about the event and create a relevant angle. (i.e., “Why is this newsworthy and why should a journalist cover it?”)
  • Fourth paragraph – This might contain a quote from an event organizer, a keynote speaker, or an award recipient.
  • Fifth paragraph – This contains additional information about the event; elaborating on the organizer or the expected attendees.
  • Boilerplate – A boilerplate provides a brief overview of the organizer or their PR company. It’s a paragraph that serves to answer the question, “Who are we?”
  • Media inquiries – This provides the name and email address of whoever will handle any press queries after the release goes public and leading up to the event.

Learn the basics 

Once you understand the layout, work on getting to know the basics of how to write a press release.

  • Write it like a news article. Press releases should be concise, formal, and professional, avoiding subjective or promotional content.
  • Avoid the first person. Event press releases should always be written in the third person; do not use pronouns “I” or “myself.” Quotes are the only exception.
  • Keep it succinct. Press releases should be brief and no longer than a page of copy.
  • Avoid hyperbole. Make sure the text is restrained and objective; avoid hyperbolic descriptors like “revolutionary,” “amazing,” or “game-changing.”
  • Consider the target audience. Who is going to read this? Write the press release to the media you want to cover it or the public you want to attend.

Create a “hook”

Properly conveying all the key information is just one part of drafting a press release. The most critical component is actually the “hook.”

A good hook for a press release like this generates interest in the event for the reader. A good hook also puts the event in context and explains why it’s important or relevant.

To maximize the effectiveness of a hook, illustrate how the event stands out from hundreds of similar events. Furthermore, connect the event to a greater news cycle or clarify how the event can solve a problem that affects a large community. 

Take a look at the opening paragraph of this press release announcing a Billy Joel concert:

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 11, 2021) – Legendary musician and songwriter Billy Joel is returning to Pittsburgh for the first time in six years for a show at PNC Park, his second at the venue, on Thursday, August 11. He last performed at the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 1, 2016.

See how this generates interest by emphasizing Billy Joel’s return to the venue after six years? 

This clever tactic creates a narrative for the event, as opposed to a mere announcement of a concert date. Journalists can build off of a narrative like this in their coverage.

Event press release examples 

Below are a variety of press release examples for you to review. No matter the type of event press release, they all follow the standard format and provide key information at the top.

Award event press release

In this example, the Oscars announce the presentations of honorary awards at the Academy’s 13th Annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles.

Launch event press release

In this example, the video game production company Konami celebrates the launch of a video game with three coordinated events across multiple countries.

Annual event press release

Take a look at this example from the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association, where they announce the return of their conference.

Interested in learning more about press releases? Check out our other press release guides:

Business Launch Press Release Example

Nonprofit Press Release Distribution

How do I distribute my press release when I’m done?

Distributing your press release properly is as important as writing it, and there are two main avenues you can take to get that done.

Send it via press release wire service

Networks of media outlets and journalists subscribe to press release wire services. For a fee, you can get your press releases circulated via these services, greatly increasing exposure.

Syndication agreements between media outlets and these wire services, in which the former agrees to do business for the latter, will guarantee that at least one media outlet will pick up your press release and report on it.

However, the news outlet that provides you coverage may not necessarily reach your ideal audience—a cable news station may report about your upcoming tech conference, but perhaps your target audience is unlikely to tune in to a 5 pm broadcast.

Send it to media outlets and journalists via email

The other option you have is to send press releases to outlets and journalists on your own.

This approach is much more personal and targeted, but also time-consuming. It can be difficult to get journalist emails, let alone the effort it takes to keep track of individualized pitches. 

But while it does take time to build a rapport with various journalists, once you do, their inbox becomes a reliable place to send any press release to in the future.

Wrapping up event press releases

Whether hosting an event to announce an occasion or celebrate one, your press release should detail what’s happening, where and when it’s happening, who can attend, and why it matters. If written and circulated properly, a press release can ensure your event will be a hit. 

Hopefully, you now feel confident to tackle your event press release on your own. But, if you’re out of time or don’t have the energy, but still want to put together an effective press release for your event, contact Intelligent Relations and leave it all to us.