How do I get a press pass

If you are wondering how to get a press pass, there are numerous articles out there that offer some insight to those that may just be starting out in various fields. You can find a wealth of information by checking out blogs and sites by Suzi Pratt, Booking Agent Info, NPPA, US Press Association, Journalists Resource, the freelance forum at LoveToKnow, and many others.

If you are just starting out in your field or media in general, you may think, now that I have a little plastic card everything should be simple. It is true that there are many website out there that certainly want to give you the impression that if you buy their card, you'll be able to waltz into whatever event you want. This is simply not true! A lot of these websites (press pass mills) sell you some card, a blank assignment form and that's the extent of their "agency". We'll go into some detail later about which organizations & sites actually offer support to their members.

There are a few simple things to keep in mind.

How to get a press pass:

  • First, you will most likely need to contact the event organizer. The contact source may be (venue manager, PR person/group, artist management) etc.
  • Go on assignment. By going on assignment, the outlet you are working for may acquire the pass for you or they may issue an assignment letter to you as part of the request process for you to complete.
  • Some local jurisdictions have press passes you can apply for to cover specific geographic areas
  • Some of the organizations listed on this website will reach out on behalf of their members to assist with acquiring press/media passes. Among these are (NPPA - National Press Photographers Association, NWU - National Writers Union, USPA - US Press Association on the national level) and some other state and local organizations.

Remember: you often need to have some type of press or media credential to acquire press passes to events. You are often times asked what outlet (paper, magazine, blog, website) you are covering for. Most of the time who you are covering for is of more importance than the piece of plastic you may be carrying, this is why we feel it is extremely important to research and evaluate the different organizations and websites that are out there. People usually want to know if it will be worth it to them in terms of how many viewers or listeners that will see or hear your coverage in order to issue you a pass to the event. Who you are covering for is a far better indicator than simply having a self printed card.