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This is an actual press release we did for one of our Nonprofit clients. Although it takes place post-event, it still serves as a good example to illustrate some of the components discussed below.
In part 2 of our Press Release Series, we will cover 5 essentials to include in a press release publicizing special nonprofit fundraising events.
1. Essential details
Remember, you're not writing the story itself for the general public - that's the job of media outlets that pick up your story. You are simply using facts to intrigue and inform your audience (journalists). What's more, writing an exhaustive press release leaves no room for reporters to ask questions, and thus hurts your story's chances of getting picked up.
So keep your press release short, sweet and scannable, roughly one page in length. Include important details like the date, location, ticket price, registration information and any other attention-grabbing tidbits that help your event stand out.
Remember "The 5 W's": Who, What, Where, When & Why.
If you cover all of these bases in the press release, the media can then spend time asking you meaningful questions later, to create a more poignant story.
2. Exciting Elements
Include a separate paragraph with some attention-grabbing information to get the media interested in your event. Along with stating exactly what the event is (a fundraiser, walk-a-thon, dinner gala, etc.), mention exciting elements that would motivate supporters to attend.
Will there be a guest celebrity at the event? What are some of your bigger charity auction items? Is there special entertainment? The media wants to cover an event that sounds exciting, and they are more likely to cover your story if they think the public would be interested.
Meaningful quotes are a crucial part of the press release. They add credibility and give you more control over how your event and organization is portrayed.
Get direct quotes from past attendees, sponsors, donors or any other relevant individuals. You can also quote someone from within your organization, but generally these should be higher-ups like board members or executive directors.
Quotes can be used to highlight successful past events or to discuss the positive work your organization has been doing. They can also be used to shed light on the importance of the cause and why your nonprofit needs funds.
4. Info About Your Organization
Why are you raising money? Who will it benefit and how? What’s special about your organization?
Provide a little more background on your organization and mission for the media by including a separate section towards the end to address these questions. The media is interested in both featuring a fun event and highlighting a good cause.
The main purpose of your press release is to get the media interested enough in your event that they inquire to do a feature on it. Tell the media how they can get in contact with your organization to get more information. A clear call to action will make it easier for the media to understand what you want from them and how best to proceed.
In part 3 of this series we will talk about methods for distributing press releases to media outlets in your area. Do you have any tips for writing releases for nonprofit event? Lets us know with a comment below!