Webinars, seminars and presentation at events are an important part of the public relations message for many learning providers and they offer a great way for L&D professionals to keep up to date with industry developments and the latest thinking, and to keep in direct contact with experts in the field.
However, press releases about events are more likely to contravene our submissions policy than any other kind of press release, mostly because authors can fall into the trap of producing adverts for them rather than news stories about them.
A press release about an event can easily appear as an advert, rather than a press release, unless the author adopts a reporting style: reporting about the event in the 'third person'. Training Press Releases submissions policy makes it very clear that all releases should be written in the 'third person' (with the exception of quotations).
In almost all cases the news value of a webinar will be in its content and or its expert speakers, the target market and any implications for the target market. Therefore, the release should focus on these things and not on the organizational aspects of the webinar, such as the date/time or price and other secondary benefits of attending, such as whether lunch is included.
The fact that a presentation is free or has a cost will rarely be newsworthy and will almost always be mentioned for promotional communication. If you do want to mention the price briefly 'report' on it, rather than listing the price as promotional text and include any reference to the price in the main body and never in the headline or synopsis. Or leave the price out altogether and place this information on a linked web page from the release, for example on a registration page. Releases that have the word 'free' in the headline or synopsis are almost always rejected (or edited down) by Training Press Releases.
Date and time
Care is also required for how the event's date and time are reported on. The date and time are never 'the' most important news aspects about a webinar or seminar and, while obviously important to include, should not form the main point of the press release or be included the headline or synopsis. Seminar/webinar dates and times included in a synopsis are usually edited out by TPR or moved into a notes section in the main body.
The price, the date/time and any other 'logistical' information should be listed once in the main body for information and not included in the headline or, in most cases, the synopsis either.
Using language or links like "Register here!" or "Book your place", etc is first person advertising language and is inappropriate in a press release. Instead, explain how to register, including a link to the registration page ideally around the title of the event, or listing the registration URL.
This press release from Learning and Skills Group is a good example of how to write a release about a webinar. It's genuinely interesting because it focuses on the content of the event.