Updated: June 2022
You’re throwing an event. Congrats! Lots of time and hard work go into pulling off a successful event (we would know), so once all the details are finalized you want to make sure it gets noticed.
At Step Out Buffalo we’ve received thousands of press releases…and sent out quite a few of our own. We’re going to be honest, from the receiving end some press releases are better than others. Like, way better. Sorry not sorry. And in a surprising twist, the ones that catch our eye often have very little to do with the content itself and more to do with the presentation. *gasps* It’s true.
Think about it: with so many different companies and organizations sending information and press releases to media outlets on a daily basis, it’s easy for ones that don’t stand out to get lost in the black hole that is an email inbox. Which is why we’re here, to give you some insider information about how to make sure your press release is better than all the rest.
How can you make *your* press release stand out? Glad you asked. Here are 5 tips to make sure your event gets noticed:
1. Personalize it
This needs to be said in all-caps: DON’T BCC YOUR EMAILS. We get it, it takes an extra 30 minutes of your time to separate those press contacts and send individual emails out, which is like, toootally annoying. But you know what’s more annoying? Being expected to read an email from someone who essentially wants a favor from you (aka promotion) yet doesn’t care enough to give you the courtesy of your own personalized message.
Don’t believe us? Take it from our editor herself: “There’s a 95% chance that the mass email you BCC’d me is either A) Being filtered straight to the T-R-A-S-H, or B) I’m reading the mass produced title and manually putting it there as I swear under my breath and roll my eyes so loudly the people in the next room can hear it.” A little harsh? Maybe. But as someone who receives hundreds of press releases a week there’s a reason this is so frustrating. Take the extra time to send an individual email and include the person’s name in the greeting. It will be worth the extra 30 minutes.
2. Have an eye-catching subject line
Ok so you’ve drafted a personalized email. Great! Now you’re ahead of 50% of the competition. How do you guarantee an email open? Simple: make the person want to read it. It seems obvious, but an email subject line is what ultimately dictates whether or not an email gets opened. How many times have you been sent the same ol’ boring email from a store you don’t remember subscribing to? How many of those emails do you actually open? Exactly.
What’s an example of an eye-catching subject line? For the Step Out Buffalo ‘Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market’ our subject line was Introducing The Best Small Biz Saturday Event Ever: Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market. This works for a couple reasons, 1) the word ‘introducing’ implies that it’s something the receiver has never heard of before; 2) ‘best…..ever’ is intriguing because it’s the best EVER; 3) ‘small biz’ indicates it’s a local business event, which is a better media story; and 4) BOOZE. Self explanatory.
3. Make sure your press release is easy to copy + paste
This may seem silly, but please make sure whatever you’re sending is easy to copy + paste. If you send a press release via email and the receiver thinks it’s interesting enough to write a story about, they need to be able to copy + paste the press release. The best ways to ensure this are to include the press release right in the email body. If you’re dead set on attaching the press release as a PDF, do everyone a solid and also attach it in a WordDoc as well. If your press release isn’t easy to copy + paste and the receiver has to rewrite all of your information…guess what they’re not going to.
4. Include *good* photos
Your press release email has been sent, it’s been seen, it’s been opened, and it’s been created into a piece of media content by your receiver. Hollaaaa! Now the receiver is looking back at your email for photos to include in the media piece. Did you include them?
If the answer is no – shame on you. Now the receiver has to do extra work to find photos of your event, and if it’s a first time event well then good riddance. If you did attach them, are they good? If someone in the media is promoting your event, they want it to look sexy. Not only does this make your event look worthy of attending, but it also affects the way the media outlet looks as well. So what makes a good photo? Here’s a few rules of thumb:
- Don’t send an event flier (or any image with text for that matter): The purpose of event images is to give viewers and potential attendees a visual of what your event is all about. Does it look fun? Does it look exciting? Does it make people want to go? Hate to break it to ya but an event flier does none of these things. And an image with text? Nothing hinders a good photo like obstructing text. Repeat after us: I will not send fliers or images with text on them.
- Send original photos: Attach photos from the most recent year of the event. If it’s a first time event, send related photos of your business, the venue, the participants, etc. And please, for the love of god, don’t send stock photos.
- Quality matters: Make sure the photos you send aren’t pixelated, blurry, small, dark, etc. Large, clear, crisp, bright photos will show off your event the best.
- Subject matters: Again, duh. Send photos of attendees having fun, participants, the event space, the featured topic (beer, tacos, plants, home decor, cardboard boxes, etc), and anything else that will visually explain what your event is and why people should care about it.
5. Send more than just an email
If you want to get a gold star in press release-sending, send a press kit. Press kits are usually some sort of box with a press release inside and lots of related goodies. Talk about making a statement. The truth is, we’re all human, and free stuff activates the happy part of our brain. Even if it’s stuff we’re not particularly interested in, the fact that someone took the time to create a care package just for us is so cool that we’re gonna shout it from the rooftops (aka Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and StepOutBuffalo.com).
Press kits take a lot more time, effort, and $$$ to create so no one expects you to send one. But when you get to that point where it’s something you’re able to do, you should 100% go for it.
Press releases are essential for making sure the right people* (*media) know about your event. If you take the time to do it right, you’ll have an open-worthy/share-worthy press release that will survive the email black hole and spread the word to the masses* (*potential attendees). Also, sending free ice cream is a sure fire way to get people talking about you…just saying.
Want to know more about promoting your business on StepOutBuffalo.com? Contact us!
At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on StepOutBuffalo.com