How to make a press release media-friendly

publicity, Vancouver theatre, press releaseThis is another post for publicists. Again, I want to thank the theatre publicists of Vancouver for helping me so much. With this post, I’m hoping to provide some information that will help us all to do our jobs even more efficiently.

When I get a press release, I’m primarily looking for information, not  prose, so please don’t bury the relevant material—the run dates, the venue, the principal artists—in the body of your copy.

Don’t get me wrong: I like to get a description of the project and quotes from reviews of previous productions can help me to get my bearings.

First and foremost, though, I’m looking for something like the following format, which Sherri Sadler from Studio 58 uses. Sherri puts her contact info at the bottom of the release; I’m even happier when it’s at the top. Please note: Sherri includes a telephone contact. Don’t assume that an email address is enough; I write to deadlines, so I want to be able to call you. As I said, I’m looking for artists’ names. Sherri lists the director and designers, which helps. Cynnamon Schreinert bolds the names of actors and other artists in the body of her copy, which is also an extremely reader-friendly way to do it.

Bottom line: don’t expect me to read every press release that comes in. I get a lot of them, so I’m much more likely to scan them.

Lots of publicists are already writing press releases that are extremely reader-friendly. To the many of you who are writing those releases, thank-you very much!

And, for everybody else, I hope this is helpful. Here’s the kind of format I’m talking about:

March 20 – April 6, 2014
Previews & FREE Student Nights March 20 & 21; Opens March 22
At Studio 58, Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue                                  

Directed by Sarah Rodgers
Scenography by David Roberts
Costume Design by Mara Gottler
Lighting Design by John Webber

Shows – 8:00 pm Tues – Sat; Matinees 3:00 pm Sat & Sun, except Feb 1; NO SHOWS Mondays
Single tickets $24.75/20.75/19.75; previews, matinees & Groups 10+ $14.25

Tickets Tonight, or 604.684.2787

Sherri Sadler

Communications Manager, Studio 58
Theatre Arts (Studio 58)
T  (telephone number)
F  (fax number)
Email address


Thanks, y’all. Happy spring season!

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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