Press Release

Home Press Release Studio Artist's Shows Studio Artist Portfolio Studio Artist's Artist Research



The Press Release

A press release is an artist’s way of letting the public know about an event that they should attend, like a gallery opening or an award just won.

A press release is unique from other writing because it is intended to be sent to the media whether that is a newspaper, radio station or television. Therefore, the writing must do some very specific things:

§         First, the writing must make the journalist’s job easy! Yes, believe it or not, the easier a thing is to do the more likely it will get done. With this in mind the writing should be usable for a journalist as is.

§         Second, a press release should compel your public to do something like attend the opening, take note of the award or look at your latest work online. With this in mind your writing should excite the public without sounding like an advertisement.

§         Third, your writing should inform. The information in your press release must be concise, accurate and relevant. No one wants to read all the way through a novel only to pick out where and when an artist is showing yet enough information should be available in the press release to allow a reader to know what or who they are going to see.


Writing the press release:

Start your work by listing the information that will be useful to the journalist. That is:

  1. First Line: What are you writing? A press release! Write that at the top of the page


  1. Next line: When do you want it published? Write “For immediate release” or “To be released Wednesday, Sept. 3,” etc.


  1. Next three or four lines: Your contact information so the journalist can reach you with any additional questions. Your full name and phone number at which you can be reached will work for this. If there is more than one person coordinating the event, list their names and phone numbers too. This way it will be easy (once again "easy" is the key word) for the journalist to get the information he or she wants.


  1. Next line: The event. What is it and what is it called? This part is a summary of the event or occasion. It should be 75 words or less and contain the information a person needs to attend the event (time, date, location, cost, a phone number for the venue, a Web address, etc.) This section is for the newspaper to use if they do not have room for the full article on your event but still want to mention it in their paper, usually in the “arts” or “events” sections of the paper.


  1. Lastly, the persuasive part. This is the part that is the full article for the paper. It should be written like a news story with the most important information at the beginning, the next most important information second, and so on. The more interesting the writing the better. Make your writing so compelling so that people will want to see your work!


All of this should fit on about one page, maybe two and it should be written about the specific event not generalized about your and other things you do. Newspaper people are busy all the time and often do not have the patience for a lot of reading, especially if they get a lot of press releases! So try to make it easy for them.


Supporting the press release:

Additional information should accompany the press release when you send it. This information should make the journalist feel that it is important to write about your event in their paper or provide pictures that can be used to present your event more persuasively.

1.      Photographs: Accompany your press release with two or three photographs of the work that will be seen at the event or that won the award, or whatever you are releasing to your adoring fans.


2.      Artist’s Statement: The artist’s statement provides additional information about you as an artist and the work that you do. The journalist may need some of this if they decide to write more extensively.  


Here are some comments from the Editor of the Californian in Salinas, CA:


“Here's my one-sentence how-to guide for writing a press release: A press release should contain who, what, when, where, admission price and a phone number.”


“Don't make me do any work to get information you should have put on the press release. The rest of the press release gives me more details so that I understand the event better. If I want to write more about this, I can. And if I don't, at least I have an understanding of how important (or not) this event is to my readers. Note also that it says "press release" at the top and lists the release date. Most press releases contain information you can publish right away, but some ask that you withhold the information for a few days or weeks (in that case, the sender wanted you, the reporter, to know about it and be able to prepare for it but didn't want the public to start calling, asking questions, etc.). Another reason this press release is good: It's only a page long.”