A well-written press release will grab the reader’s attention and drive them to want to learn more about your event. It’s essential that the primary message of Startup Weekend is communicated clearly, as well as the other details surrounding your event.
Here’s some additional tips:
Include your name, email, and cell phone number.
Many reporters decide whether to open an email based on the subject line so make it good!
Details to cover are the who, what, when, where, why and how of your event.
Links to successful companies that have come out of Startup Weekend, particularly if they came out of your city, are helpful to personalize what happens during the weekend. Also include press that has covered Startup Weekend, particularly national press.
Find your angle. Reporters are looking for something new and fresh. Think about how Startup Weekend might fit into a bigger story, like a growing tech scene in your city, economic development etc. Other cities have been successful at promoting just that Startup Weekend is an opportunity for people to try to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams in a weekend. A good structure for this is Donald Miller’s How to Tell a Story.
Once your release is written, pitch it to all the local startup and entrepreneurial blogs in your city along with the newspapers, magazines, TV/radio stations, etc. The easiest way to do this is to go to the main website and find the general news or business contact. Also, be on the look out for local event calendars within your community that you can be published to, as well as on major media or tech event websites, newspapers, and magazines.
Another option is to to partner with a top local tech blog by offering to give them privileged access to the event. They can write several posts prior the event, attend the event, capture photos and video, and do a wrap-up post after the event. Added bonus: other media outlets might pick up their coverage!