How is Media Advisory Different from Press Release?

It is the responsibility of the public relations and marketing department to create an organization’s image in front of the world. To accomplish that, they post content in different forms. Media advisories and press releases are some of the common ones.

There are so many opportunities that can be availed by incorporating these in your marketing and PR plan. But before utilizing them in any of the strategies, it is important to know the difference between those two. The purpose of this blog is to differentiate between these two kinds of content and understand why they need to be written.

Press Releases

The purpose of writing a press release is to deliver news about an organization to a group of relevant journalists.

Press releases are more like articles. They include images, quotes, and different facts in their text to increase the knowledge of their audience related to a service or product offered by their organization. The purpose of writing a press release is to get your story picked up by media outlets. Preferably, the length of a press release should remain between 400 to 600 words (from 1 to 2 pages). They are written in the pyramid style which means that the most important information is present at the top i.e. headline and first paragraph while the rest of the content is situated towards the end.

Press releases are distributed to hundreds of different channels, both over the internet and physical distribution to newsrooms. In some cases, if it is a high-level organization, press releases are sent to national news platforms as well.  There is no time limit for sending out the press release beforehand (unless and until it is not bound to an event timeframe). There are preferred days for sending out a press release which increases the chances of getting a press release picked up by the journalists, but there are no hard and fast rules.

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Media Advisory

The purpose of writing a media advisory is to give an invite or make an announcement related to an event for journalists and other media personalities.

Even though the content crux of a media advisory is not very different from press releases, they perform different roles. It is preferable to send a media advisory to the local media personalities. This is because journalists from far-flung places will prefer not to travel just to cover an event of a small organization.

It is of utmost importance to send out a media advisory well before 4 to 5 days. This is because even though local journalists will join and cover your event, chances are they may have better things to do. By sending out a media advisory beforehand, they can include attending your event in their day planner.

Don’t forget: media advisory is an invitation for journalists. This means that there is no need to add extensive details about the event or organization. The content should be precise and to-the-point. Answer the 5 W’s (why, what, when, who, and where).  The length of the media advisory content can be from anywhere between 100 to 300. Too many details in a media advisory are off-putting and are ignored by journalists.

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Media advisory and press releases are important tools for the marketing and PR department. Even though they have different purposes, the ultimate aim of both these tools is the same: generate awareness and increase journalist attention. Understanding their difference is vital before actually working on either one of them.