Production Marketing | How To Write Press Releases

Press Release. They’re scary words for the uninitiated. But writing a good press release for your production can be the difference between getting your show promoted or it being ignored.


It’s easy to think now that we’re surrounded by Social Media that a few Facebook posts and Tweets might be enough to draw attention to your show, but if you want press attention, a well-written press release is essential.

We’ve come up with a no-nonsense guide to writing press releases that will get you mentioned!


What is a Press Release?

Simply put, a press release is a short document containing all the vital information for your production. One or two pages that sum up the type of show, when the show is on and where.


What should a Press Release contain?

The nuts and bolts of the opening sentence can be summed up as: Who? What? Where? When?

WHO: Name of the company producing the show

WHAT: Name of the show and writer.

WHERE: Where’s the show taking place?

WHEN: When’s the show is taking place?

EXAMPLE:

From X-Y July 201X, On Stage Northants present their latest production at VENUEA PLAY by Joe Bloggs.


Follow up your brief first section with a few paragraphs of further details about your group and the show itself. They don’t need to be in a set order, but it’s always useful to have your most eye-catching and interesting details first.

Essential:

  • Title of the show, and writer
  • Name of the company behind the show, and a few key details about the group’s history/background/recent projects
  • Dates and Times, including running time if possible
  • A description of the show including a brief summary of the plot
  • Show website, Facebook and Twitter links and any hashtags you’re using
  • Cost of tickets, and where the tickets can be purchased from.

EXAMPLE:

Joe Blogg’s COMEDY/DRAMA/THRILLER concerns BASIC PLOT DETAILS.

On Stage Northants are based in VENUE/LOCAL AREA, produce X shows each year, and are delighted to be staging A PLAY this July, from X to Y at VENUE. Recent productions include THAT PLAY, THIS PLAY and THAT OTHER PLAY.

Check out www.onstagenorthants.co.uk for more details about the group. We are also on Facebook www.facebook.com/onstagenorthants, Twitter www.twitter.com/onstagenn and Instagram www.instagram.com/onstagenn #aplay2018

Tickets are £XX, and available by calling XXXXX XXXXXX or online (link) – booking fees apply.

 

Handy extra information:

  • Any local interest points – anniversary performances, charity fundraising etc.
  • Key cast members, and key creative team, such as the Director
  • A quote from a key cast member or director
  • Contact information for your publicity person, and an indication of whether your cast are happy to be interviewed and reviewed.

EXAMPLE:

A PLAY stars ACTOR 1 (CHARACTER 1), who played to rave reviews in THAT OTHER PLAY, ACTOR 2 (CHARACTER 2), ACTOR 3 (CHARACTER 3), and an ensemble of local children. Directed by DIRECTOR (SHOW 1, SHOW 2, SHOW 3), A PLAY featurs INTERESTING SET FACT, QUIRKY PLOT FACT and WON THIS AWARD IN THE WEST END.

DIRECTOR says “We’re delighted to be performing A PLAY – the cast have been working very hard, and I’m sure our audiences will love the show. The local children have also brought a lot of joy to the production, and we hope to raise lots of money for our chosen charity”

For further details, press tickets, interviews and photos, please contact MARKETING PERSON email @ emailaddress .com

What should I include in my email?

Some press contacts will prefer your release text to be included in an email, others prefer it to be an attachment – we don’t generally mind which way you send them to us, but an attachment is probably better. If you are attaching the information, it would be handy to include a copy of your vital show details (the Who, What, Where and When) and who to contact for further details in the email text.

Should I send an image?

Yes – provided you send the right sort of image. An interesting picture of your cast in action, a staged production photo, or a smaller version of your poster might work well, but make sure they’re in the correct format – .jpg, or .png are usually best. Send one image, publications will request more if they need them. Don’t send huge files, and make sure your images are a good resolution – blurry pictures are unlikely to be published. Also, make sure images are included as an attachment or link, rather than pasted into the email.

What is the point of a press release?

You are more likely to achieve promotion if the publisher has to do as little work as possible. If they have to run around to find an appropriate format image, or flick between websites to find the start time and dates, you might find they don’t bother.

Can we send you a press release?

Yes! We’re always happy to receive information about upcoming shows, auditions, film projects, comedy nights – anything related to performance in Northampton. We may not always be able to run a story, but we try to give everything equal coverage. Drop us a line at editor@onstagenorthants.co.uk 

 

If you have any questions please get in touch, and we’ll be happy to provide support. And if you’ve found this article helpful, please consider making a small donation to keep On Stage Northants going via Buy Me A Coffee

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Rebecca is a theatre lover originally from Birmingham. She founded On Stage Northants in 2017, and is passionate about promoting Northampton performing arts. Can usually be found behind the scenes, and occasionally in front of them too. Bec also blogs at StageyRebel