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Within the context of digital marketing and public-relations strategy, the distribution of press releases is one the most potent and cost-effective means of raising awareness about high-profile events among the media and the public at large. This blog post seeks to explain how a press release for an event is composed and distributed to achieve optimal results.
One of the essential ways that businesses, organizations and institutions communicate with their respective target audiences and reinforce existing relationships is by organizing high-profile events. Institutions, including small businesses, which rely on events to establish relationships based on goodwill and mutual understanding are of significant value to the public.
It is at such events that personal interaction and experiences have the greatest impact. These events play a vital role in both fostering and maintaining positive relationships with the public and specific target audiences. Therefore, they should be promoted among target groups through the timely distribution of a particular type of press release, which is considered one of the most effective communication tools available to PR professionals.
In this regard, well-written press releases – distributed both before and after events and containing a host of important details – represent the most compelling and cost-effective means by which a brand’s strategic messaging can reach its target audience.
It never hurts to use traditional tools such as posters, advertisements and TV/radio spots to publicize an upcoming event. Today, however, it is also essential to promote events online – this includes social media, digital news outlets and in the form of blog posts.
In the digital world, it is crucial to announce upcoming events on a wide range of online platforms, especially popular social-media forums like Eventbrite and Facebook. Therefore, we must examine what steps should be taken – especially in terms of the media – to promote high-profile events so as to ensure optimal publicity.
Institutions or individuals that seek to stand out from among their competitors must be sure to employ the most effective communication tools at their disposal when announcing upcoming events – and one of these tools is the press release. Event press releases should be both well-written and newsworthy, containing all the most important details, such as contact information and relevant email addresses.
Typically sporting an attention-grabbing headline, and written in accordance with effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, press releases stand at the core of any good public relations campaign. In the hands of a professional press release distribution service, they should serve as a bridge between journalists, editors and news outlets on one hand, and those who seek to publicize an event on the other.
But achieving the desired results from an event press release depends on the use of the right medium and the dissemination of the right message. Remember: the platforms relied upon to publish your press release – be they news outlets, social media platforms or blog posts – can affect your image among target audiences, depending on the prestige and policies of these platforms.
That’s why it’s essential to select the right media channels, preferably with the help of public-relations professionals with long experience in the field.
Press releases for an event can be divided into two main categories: pre-event and post-event, both of which typically follow a distinct press release template.
Pre-event press releases are prepared and distributed with a view to both informing the public and inviting individuals to attend the event. Along with providing basic information through judicious use of the 5W1H rule (who, what, where, when, why and how), pre-event press releases should address relevant aspects of the upcoming event, such as speakers and prominent participants.
Pre-event press releases also help achieve the desired results in a cost-effective manner, since they are typically published by various news outlets, thus reducing the need for expensive advertisements.
Post-event press releases, meanwhile, should cover the various topics addressed at the event, along with other relevant details, such as panel discussions or live performances. The overall newsworthiness of post-event press releases can be further enriched by including quotes from event hosts and prominent attendees.
Events, both before and after they are held, represent one of the most common subjects of press releases. But how exactly are these press releases, both pre-event and post-event, composed and distributed so as to optimize their impact in the public arena?
First of all, press releases are intended to attract the attention of journalists, editors and media outlets – and nothing does this more than an attention-grabbing headline. No matter how interesting the content of a press release is, it is less likely to be noticed if it lacks an engaging title. This is because journalists and editors are usually inundated with hundreds of press releases, news items and calls to action sent to their inboxes every day.
The headline, therefore, should be interesting, understandable and – perhaps most importantly – reflect the essence of the news it is reporting. Once journalists and editors are drawn in by the headline, important information about the event can be conveyed within the first paragraph (also known as the lead).
Because it is announcing an upcoming event, important details (names, dates, venues, contact information, email addresses, etc.) should be provided in accordance with the all-important 5W1H rule. The press release text should answer all questions that a would-be participant might have about the event.
If all this is adequately addressed, invitees – including members of the press – will be more inclined to put the event on their calendars. In this regard, special invitations to media personnel should not be overlooked. The press release, along with formal invitations, should be sent out to press members at least four weeks before the event is scheduled to be held.
Information should be provided in the first paragraph with the intention of stoking readers’ curiosity. Once readers (including journalists and editors) are provided with all the essential information, addition details about the event can be given in the second and third paragraphs of the press release.
This constitutes a basic rule of press release writing: information about the subject should always be prioritized from “most important” to “least important.” With this in mind, the question “Why is it important to attend this event?” should be answered early on in the press release text.
Needless to say, press releases should be composed in such a way that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. All relevant contact information must also be included so that potential attendees and media personnel can obtain whatever additional information they require.
Along with the press release, additional material can also be sent to journalists about an upcoming event. This material may include relevant information about the venue (instructions on how to get there, etc.); speakers or artists to be featured at the event; and who is expected to participate.
The following pre- and post-event press releases carried by prominent news agencies provide excellent examples of how different events can be publicized – both before and after they are held.
Special days or occasions (International Women’s Day and World Animal Day, for example) give brands an opportunity to distinguish themselves by stressing shared values – in other words, the common emotions and values they share with their particular target audience.
When it comes to special days and occasions, the most effective way to raise the media visibility of a brand (and the products and services with which that brand is associated) is by distributing press releases that are relevant to the special day or occasion in question.
After all, a brand’s primary goal is to attract the attention of potential customers and target audiences – this is the meaning of brand awareness. The basic elements needed to raise brand awareness and foster longstanding customer loyalty include an emphasis on shared values – values that the brand has in common with its target audience. With this in mind, special day communication represents a crucial aspect of marketing strategy in general and brand communication activities in particular.
But what exactly is special day communication?
All brands, from multinational corporations to small businesses, require effective communication strategies in order to bolster their brand awareness and expedite the image-creation process. But in order to optimize one’s chances of success, a strategic approach to brand communication activities must be adopted and implemented.
Engagement, consistency and compliance represent the three key aspects of brand communication activities. Regardless of how good a particular brand is, its overall value will inevitably suffer if its communication strategies fail to engage its customer base. For this reason, brands that hope to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace – by building and maintaining lasting customer loyalty – must strive to distinguish themselves through the use of effective marketing campaigns and communication activities.
In order for brands to maintain sought-for customer loyalty, they must succeed in attracting – and holding – the interest of their target audiences. However, interest alone will not be sufficient to ensure the desired outcome. In order to preserve customer loyalty and foster a permanent bond with one’s customer base, it is necessary to establish lasting connections through the use of effective communication strategies.
In this regard, an emphasis on common emotions and values plays a crucial role in the brand-building process. Country-specific religious and/or national holidays (such as Turkey’s Republic Day and Memorial Day in the US), along with globally-recognized special days (such as Valentine's Day and International Teachers’ Day) represent critical touchpoints that offer valuable opportunities to interact with one’s target audience and other key demographic groups. The specific brand communication activities carried out on these days are collectively referred to as ‘special day communication’.
On these special days and occasions, people want to remember and be remembered by others. This is especially the case when it comes to a brand’s specific consumer base. Generally speaking, people establish strong emotional bonds with those brands that can effectively relate to their feelings and sensitivities and with whom they share common emotions and values.
In this way, brands can become part of people’s emotional lives – something they can interact with, feel close to, and appreciate, rather than something that merely provides commercial products and services. Therefore, special day communication should closely correspond to consumers’ expectations and values to ensure that the brand that is being promoted stands out from among its competitors.
In this age of digital technology and social media, online platforms allow consumers to voice their thoughts and feelings about popular brands. Digital platforms also allow consumers to closely interact with these brands. This, in turn, allows these brands to gauge the effects of their brand communication activities in real time. One of the clearest examples of this is the way consumers share posts about the brands they feel closest to on various social media platforms.
Brands that augment their presence on social media (and on other online forums) through the effective use of special day communication can raise their overall brand recognition and awareness by reaching as wide an audience as possible. In a best-case scenario, a brand’s special day communication activities will be remembered – and talked about – long after the special day or occasion in question, thus reinforcing its positive image in the collective mind of the target audience.
Special day communication also plays a vital role in distinguishing brands from their numerous rivals. In order to stand out from the crowd in the minds of consumers, brands must never neglect special days and occasions. This is especially the case when their competitors are also employing special day communication strategies.
What’s more, brands must be prepared to closely monitor all brand communication activities that are being employed by the competition. In this regard, rival approaches should be analyzed and examined with a view to optimizing one’s own marketing campaign and communication strategy.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of special day communication is that it allows brands to reinforce their respective messages regarding their objectives and particular field of activity.
For example, a furniture company that uses trees as raw material, and which has therefore adopted a policy of tree-planting as part of its corporate responsibility platform, should engage in special day communication to mark the International Day of Forests. This will serve to emphasize the company’s commitment to the environment and cement its image as an eco-friendly business.
Due to the overriding importance of the media (both digital and traditional), effective special day communication strategies rely heavily on the distribution of well-written press releases.
Press releases, which allow brands to build and maintain their relations with the media and promote their products and services to target audiences, are – by far and away – the most effective means of improving a brand’s image and reputation. What’s more, press releases play a crucial role in promoting special discounts and corporate/social responsibility projects within the scope of special day communication strategies.
Points to consider when composing special day press releases
Special days and occasions should be taken into account when formulating a brand’s marketing campaign. This allows them to plan their approaches and strategies several weeks – if not months – in advance.
Like all press releases, those distributed within the scope of special day communication activities must always be sufficiently newsworthy.
The content of day-specific press releases should always take a different angle from others that focus on the same special day or occasion.
Timing is always a crucial factor when distributing press releases to media outlets. As a rule, day-specific press releases should always be distributed between two and 15 days prior to the special day or occasion in question.
Press releases distributed within the context of special day communication must maintain the same high standards as regular press releases. Since day-specific press releases also target potential customers, they should always be concise, well-written and newsworthy.
If you’re looking to raise your brand’s media profile on special days and occasions, don’t hesitate to contact B2Press, Europe’s first and only online PR agency.