Promoting Your Event: Press and Local News

Local newspapers, local radio and blogs covering your area can really help build the excitement for an event and interest new audiences. Here are some tips for promoting your event through press channels.

  • Media coverage of your event can help you generate positive publicity for your own organisation and for Live Literature
  • Many organisations and local authorities have a press department, which deals with all media activity
  • Please make sure that you check with your press department before sending out any press releases. It is possible that they will be able to send out the press release on your behalf
  • If you are working directly with the press, Scottish Book Trust would be happy to send you a list of local press contacts for your area. Just email miriam.morris@scottishbooktrust.com with details of the area where your event will be taking place.
  • Please ensure that you use the following text to describe the project in all your communications with press or social media:

This event is presented by [your organisation] and Live Literature, which is supported by Creative Scotland and managed by Scottish Book Trust.

For more information:

 

Creating a press list

  • Pull together a list of email addresses and telephone numbers for your local newspapers, magazines, radio stations and TV broadcasters
  • Most publications and broadcasters have their contact details displayed at the bottom of their website, or in a special ‘contact us’ section

 

Planning your approach

  • If your aim is to get people along to your event, then your press coverage should appear at least two weeks before the event
  • If you want coverage of the event itself, the press will need to be told 2-3 weeks in advance so they can send someone along
  • Bear in mind timings of publications – magazines in particular tend to have long lead times, and the edition you need to appear in may go to print a month or two before your event
  • Broadcasters and newspapers should be contacted 2-3 weeks before you want the information to appear

 

Writing a press release and inviting people to a photocall

If you’d like to send out a press release or invite people to a photocall, you will find templates at the bottom of this page. There are some blank spaces that you will need to fill in about your specific event. 

For photocalls, please check that the author is happy to go ahead with this before making arrangements. 

Photocall

  • This is an invitation sent to newsdesks (or picture desks on bigger newspapers) inviting them to send a photographer or camera crew along to take a picture for the paper or to cover the event. In recent years, many organisations have had success inviting local bloggers and social media to the event as well.
  • You might want to invite them along for the whole event or identify a specific time for posed photos and interviews with the author or organisers afterwards

Press release

  • A press release provides journalists with all the information about your event, and is produced in a standard format. It needs to be newsworthy and highlight what is special or interesting about your event (i.e. celebrity attendance, the launch of a new book, controversial subject matter or human interest)
  • When you email your press release or photocall notice, it’s best to put all the email addresses in the BCC column and paste the press release into the body of the email. The subject of the email should be the title of the press release.

Follow up

  • Press release: call the newsdesk a couple of days after you have sent your press release (mid-morning is best) to check that they received it. Have key facts to hand and be brief – journalists are very busy people.
  • Photocall: call the newsdesk or picture desk (if it is a bigger newspaper) a day or so before the event, to check that they have your photocall in their diary. If they haven’t, offer to resend the photocall notice to them and ask for their email address. Again, be brief.

Photocalls - dress the stage

  • If you have invited media or photographers along to your event, make sure that it looks visually appealing or that you have a strong idea for the press photos
  • Outdoor photos work best, especially with striking backdrops like walls, trees or buildings
  • Avoid too obvious branding, if you can – a group of people clustered round a pop-up banner does not make a good photo
  • Have a suggested caption typed out ready to give to the photographers – that way you can ensure that your message accompanies the photos

Templates

Press Release

Photocall

 

Image: Newspapers by Blickpixel