The event was flawless. Everything went off without a hitch. The performers were on point! The servers and bartenders performed magnificently. Everyone deemed the food divine. Every single attendee had an exceptional experience. The ones who came, anyway. You really thought you’d fill more seats. What happened?
We’ve seen this happen so many times in the past. Great event; lackluster turnout. The question becomes: How do I make sure more people know about my event? One way to achieve this is by getting local press to write a feature, or a short blurb or to list it in their show calendar.
One of the easiest and most succinct ways to get your event information to the media is through a media alert. You may be familiar with a media release (sometimes called a press release). A media alert is similar, but it spoon feeds the need-to-know facts about your event directly to writers.
Writers love media alerts because they don’t have to go searching for the information; it’s all right there in front of them. Below are key tips for writing media alerts. You can also download a handy PDF resource guide here.
Don’t forget your contact information.
Writers may need more information from you. They may need a photo. Or (if you’re lucky) they might request an interview. Make sure your name, email address, and phone number are listed at the top.
List out your event information in clear who/what/when/where/why categories.
This helps writers quickly scan for important information. Listing out your event in this way enables them to see the unique pieces of your event without having to read through a long paragraph of information.
Send your media alert via email.
Writers these days, even writers for the old-timey daily newspapers—are used to doing almost all their work via email. They’re busy; you’re busy. They’ll appreciate you making their lives easier by using email.
Do not attach anything to your email.
Attachments could mean a virus. Potentially virus-laden emails don’t get opened. Don’t send an attachment unless it’s solicited.
Write clear subject lines.
The subject line to your email should start with “Media Alert” then a short descriptive about your event. Writers are more likely to look at an email if they know it is meant for them and not spam. For example: “Media Alert: The Rock Band to perform at Music Venue on February 1”
Download this handy, printable resource guide for more info on how to write a media alert. (PDF)