Monday, January 14, 2008

How to write a press release for your Anti-Pov event

So now that I'm done being fan-giddy about the house concert benefit we're doing, let's get back to media advocacy. Say you have an event going on. Great! Now, turn it into a chance to advocate for your cause in the wide world of media. Write up a press release and send it to every news org you can think of that might have an interest in your event. Make it as easy as possible for the reporter to cover it. In other words, make it a clear format (most important info at the top) and do their homework for them. Think up 2 or 3 different interest angles they might use, especially if you have one that is not just plain poverty awareness. (In my case, the House Concert angle seems most interesting to people.) Include specific names and contact info for people they might want to interview. Give them websites for research resources. If possible, talk with an actual editor or someone before sending emailing so that it goes to a specific person. Here is my example of a press release with all the personal info taken out for web purposes:

I am co-hosting a House Concert Benefit in Morton Grove on Feb 7th to raise money for our local food pantry. I invite you to consider this upcoming local event for coverage in the ___________. Here are a few interest angles that may interest you:
1) Local residents coming together to help their food pantry
2) Food pantries experiencing a time of unusually high need
3) The phenomenon of house concerts happening in our area (Justin Roth will also be performing in a Chicago house concert series on Feb 8th.)
Please see the summary below for the event details.

Thank you for your consideration!
Event Organizer

Event: Justin Roth House Concert to benefit Niles Township Food Pantry
Description: Nationally touring singer/songwriter and solo guitarist Justin Roth will perform an intimate concert for 30-40 people in a Morton Grove home. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the local food pantry.
Time: 6:30-9:30PM on Thursday, Feb 7 2008
Place:XXXX Street Address, Morton Grove, IL 60053
Organizer: ccyl 800 XXX-XXXX,

Individuals available to comment at the event:
- Featured musician: Justin Roth
- Director of Niles Township Food Pantry: Her_name_here 800 XXX-XXXX,
- Event organizer: ccyl 800 XXX-XXXX,
- Apprx. 30 attendees, many of whom will be Morton Grove residents

More information resources:
About nationwide decrease in food bank donations:

About Niles Township Food Pantry:

About Justin Roth:

About house concerts

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