Your client or your company seeks news coverage for the business anniversary, ground breaking ceremony, a celebration of a finished renovation, or for the kickoff of a new program.

So you send an invitation to the news media with the basics of the event name, location, date and time, and hope they’ll show up to hear all about it, right?

Of course not. Sure, you might get lucky. It might be a slow news day. A reporter or two could show up and do some small piece.

But what if you could get coverage before AND AFTER from those media outlets, as well as coverage from all the reporters who didn’t have the time to attend, but who still might be interested in the news behind the event?

What would turn that event invitation into news? Reporters always want context.

What about for a charity having its second annual event? Include in your media release how many people attended the first one, how much was raised, and that this year you expect to double both the attendance and the amount raised.

Having a store grand-opening celebration? First off, say if this is the real opening of the business. If the store actually opened a month ago and the business is just now getting around to celebrating, reporters won’t want to feel misled.

Also, give the store square footage, the number of employees and the cost of the project. It’s also nice to give credit to the project contractor, architect and the real estate broker who did the deal.

In most cases, it’s pretty hard to get the media excited about a business anniversary celebration, unless you’re lucky enough to be inviting them to the 100th anniversary. Especially if the number of years isn’t so impressive, be sure to offer the company’s compelling back story. For example, the business has survived a fire, tripled sales in the last five years, or landed a huge new contract that will result in the hiring of a dozen more workers.

Reporters are busier than ever before. If you think like a reporter and start gathering details and images before they even ask for that information, you will be rewarded with more and better coverage of your event announcement.

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