A press release is an important component of your fundraising event. Your media kit will alert the media that something fun that is going to happen in the near future- an event that they will hopefully find newsworthy enough to report on. If you are fundraising for a known cause, you may be able to access free advertising brochures and media kits from them. If not, it is easy to create your own with today’s modern technology.
Your press release is what you send to the newspaper in-kind donation after the event to describe what happened, how much was raised and who the sponsors were. It should be as professional as possible. If you can access a free downloadable press release, personalize it with the relevant details and print it out on the letterhead of your own organization.
Up the top of your press release, print in large uppercase letters “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” followed by your name and contact number. Write about all the details in a conversational manner, just as you would read something written in the newspaper. Try and include any funny incidents that happened, because many newspapers like to serve up a dash of humor to their readers. And if they don’t like it, the editor will undoubtedly delete it.
Send it off to the paper and after a few days phone to ask if they received it, if they are going run it and when. Be sure to get a few copies and clip out the news of your fundraiser. Display it in an appropriate place for all to see and send some clippings to your sponsors, especially if their names are mentioned.
If you’ve asked the media to be present at your event, it may be that they have written their own article about the event. This is fine, but make sure they have the relevant material such as sponsors and the amount made to go in it. See to it that they get to interview your sponsors or VIPs and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to photograph important aspects of your fundraising event.
If they are not present, make sure you get some good snapshots, or designate someone else to be the official photographer, then you’ll be able to include these in the press release. Find out before time, what sort of photographs the newspaper prefers. Some take high resolution JPGs while others prefer 35mm.