Monday, February 22, 2016

If you remember nothing else...

Please - for the love of all that is good - do me one tiny favor:

Do not forget to put the address of where ever your event is happening in your press release!

You have no idea how many press releases editor me encountered on a regular that were missing that one simple, but oh-so-important bit of information.

And no, the name of the location - The Ritz Theater, The Bardavon, The Bronx Zoo, the Taj Mahal - is not enough.

Especially since there isn't any media outlet that targets only one town (the last newspaper I worked the copy desk for covered parts of at least five counties), there isn't an editor, reporter, producer or newscaster who knows the physical street address to every venue in their circulation/viewing/listening area.

Forcing whomever is reading your release (in an effort to get it into the calendar,  the entertainment section's event listing or the three-inch hole on page 8) to stop, jump online and search for the physical address of any venue could cause them to skip right over your release to get to the one behind it - y'know, the one with complete information.

It's not that the reader of the info is trying to be mean; You just may be trying to cost them time. And nobody has time to spare in a newsroom.

Seriously - how hard is it to type in a street address and city/town? Readers interested in checking out whatever you have going on want to be able to type that address into their GPS and call it a day. Your job is to get people through the door. But they won't ever cross your threshold if you can't be bothered to tell them where you'll be.

Each time you sit down to do a press release, think like the person you are trying to get to read and publicize this event. They want to know:
  • Who is doing this thing? 
  • What is it they are doing? 
  • Where is it happening? 
  • When is it taking place? 
  • Why is this important? 
  • How is this thing taking place (live? live-stream? one-night-only reception?)? 
All this information is vital to get across to those you want to come - but you have to get it to (and through) the info gate keeper first.

Want to get folks to your grand opening/listening party/concert/poetry reading/meeting or other event? Begin by telling them what they need to know to get there - and start by telling them where that "there" is.

You can do it - I know you can...