Press passes or media passes are issued to allow access to various areas, venues, events or functions. There are different types of passes depending on the venue or event, as well as how high a profile the venue or event may have e.g. high school/college sports VS Pro sports. Freelance and professionals can acquire press passes with the proper planning, connections or being part of a network like the US Press Association.
1. Research beforehand.
Events may include concerts, sporting events, and other ticket holding events. The press/media passes for these events typically grant you free entry, sometimes allows you to go backstage to access further coverage and provide a place for you to sit/stand, or in the case of photographers a sectioned out area for you to get your photographs such as a "pit" in front of the stage at a concert. Concerts will often have a promoter separate from the venue that is responsible for granting these passes.
Research the event and contact the venue for help tracking down who is in charge. "US Press Association will perform this function on your behalf if needed".
2. Prepare credentials.
In order to get a specific event press pass or access to a venue, you're usually going to need credentials or records that prove you are working for a media outlet or may be acting as a freelance source for a media outlet. A US Press Association membership can help you fulfill this requirement.
You can use previous articles or coverage as well as building your US Press Association member profile and providing links to your (website(s), blog, portfolio(s), social media profiles. This will help the promoters and other decision makers see your body of work.
One way to prove your affiliation with a news source is to provide links to your US Press Association member profile or articles, photos, videos, or other media you have posted on the USPA website.
Be sure to include an email signature stating your primary role or function. Your US Press Association Press Pass and profile page will help identify your role. (photographer, videographer, writer, editor) etc.
Try to make contact and secure your position as early as possible. Let them know who you are and who you will be providing coverage for. Often a press office will go by the name, public affairs office, or public relations office or editorial assignment.
You can choose to secure a press pass on your own, or as a US Press Association member you can complete a credential assistance form 24/7 by logging into your member account and clicking the link in your member Resource menu.
We will contact the appropriate individual or office on your behalf.
You may be required to offer information about your publication or website followers that will benefit from the coverage. By posting your work on the US Press Association website, you can use your unique monthly visitors rather than your own websites monthly visitors, should that be a greater number.
You can compose a simple email requesting access. If done properly this can yield great results. Again, if you feel you need assistance with this process, the US Press Association is here to help.
Securing Government Credentials - Local and National:
The US Press Association can help you secure local & national credentials as well. Simply call the office, send an email request or complete the Credential Assistance Form available in your Members Resource Menu on the website.