Event headlines catch your eye. They are designed to. With startling words that conjure up a mental image of the story they convey in just a few syllables.
When writing your press releases or articles to raise the profile of your event, bear in mind the hundreds, even thousands, of stories and releases sent to editors each day.
If you want your stories to stand out, to catch their eye, then give them the hook in a few words. Event headlines just have to work.
Short, Punchy Words Work Best
Use ‘firm’ instead of company, eliminate definite articles (the) for headlines and reduce copy length as much as possible
A Few Power Words that Work
Crisis, first (it has to be news if it is a first), leads, warns, looms, dwindle – you get the picture!
A press release is not like writing an essay where you give the background and argument before your conclusion.
Start with the main news item and build background from there
Remember the Five Ws
Who, what, why, where and when should be covered off in the story, if possible even in the first sentence
Keep Quotes to a Minimum
This can sometimes be difficult as it is important to give your spokesperson a platform.
Make sure it is relevant, not just the usual ‘we are delighted to announce’ and try not to quote more than two people
Tailor your Writing Style
This can be tricky if you are not an experienced writer and you may benefit from professional PR or copy writers at this point!
If you adopt the right tone and style for a certain publication, you are more likely to be picked up.
This degree of bespoke writing isn’t always possible, but the more tailored you are, the better your chances!
Finally – Make It Easy for the Journalist
If you are emailing your press release, put it in the body of the email, don’t make the journalists work harder by opening PDFs where they can’t copy any of the text.
You also need to make sure your headline is clear in the subject line of the email, otherwise it may not get opened at all!
Don’t forget to add your contact details and a short background paragraph at the end of the release about your event or company (including a web link) so that editors can check a few facts too.
It may seem a little daunting, but read through your target publications, get a feel for the sort of copy they like to write and you will soon be making headway with the media.
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