Press releases can help anyone, especially an artist to not only bring attention to their art but to generate traffic to their website and also to assist with the branding of the artist and their art.
Just exactly is a press release? A press release is defined as “a prepared statement, of something that is deemed to be newsworthy, that will be distributed to the news media in order to gain attention to a newsworthy event". The following are the elements of a good press release and should be followed when an artist writes their press release.
Headlines are a line of text at the top of the press release that in a single line will describe and bring attention to the event or the news that is contained in the press release.
In the past (prior to the digital age) headlines were created to not only draw the attention of the reader but especially to draw the attention of newspaper editors, in the hope that they would use the release in their publication. Today, this is still true, but now the headline is also written and used for keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) as it relates to generating page views and traffic back to the source of the press release. (Keywords are used by search engines to locate information that viewers have requested).
The headline should be descriptive and concise. If at all possible, try to limit the headline to no more than 120 characters. Each word should be formatted with the first letter being capitalized (not all caps).
Besides the headline being very important for SEO purposes, the summary section also allows the artist to expand the use of secondary and additional keywords. The summary should also be very descriptive of the event and why someone should want to read the rest of the press release. It is a selling opportunity for the artist to sell themselves, their art or their art event.
The summary is a single short paragraph and if it is too long the artist may lose the reader. Therefore, it is extremely important to write and rewrite this section in order to ensure that it gets the important points across why someone would want to read the full press release. Any sentences in this summary should be in sentence case, with the only first letter of a sentence being capitalized.
The rest of the press release is considered the body of the release and it will contain the following components:
The dateline contains the date of the press release and this is a very important component to the reader to see if the news is old, new, even newsworthy or still valid. This section also contains the city of origin of the release for location purposes.
The introduction of the press release is the paragraph that should answer the following questions for the reader; of who, what, when, where and why?
Details or Body
The details or what is also known as the body of the press release will provide explanations for, provide background and detail the thoughts contained in the introduction section. This may consist of several "body" paragraphs until all pertinent thoughts are set forth.
The body (details) should be made up of at least two paragraphs. The paragraphs should contain 5 to 10 lines of copy. All body copy and event details should be provided for in a descending type order (most important details of the press release nearest to the top, to least important details at the bottom or lower body paragraphs).
The about section is a short paragraph which provides background information on the company or organization who is issuing the press release.
The contact information section contains the name of the issuing individual, their telephone number, their email address, the company postal mailing address and the company website URL. The contact information section is also an invitation from the writer to the reader that they can provide additional information if requested.
A press release should be written in the third person as if someone else is writing about this event or news, other than the writer.
Always send any supporting images or graphics that will be used or was a part of this event or news. An editor is more likely to not only look at the press release but will tend to use the press release if it contains interesting pictures.
Study press releases of major companies or other artists who you would like to emulate (all of their websites usually have a press section) and see how they have structured and written their press releases. There is nothing wrong with this and by following the best, it will increase your chances of having more and better publicity, if the press release is in an acceptable form for the industry.
Finally, there are hundreds of free press release distribution companies on the internet, locate them and use them to your benefit the next time you have an art event, art exhibition or something that is newsworthy about your art. Your press releases will help you draw attention to your art and will also bring additional traffic to your website.