What Is the Difference Between a Press Release VS Media Advisory?

Public relations departments will issue a range of content designed to promote a business. Two important types of promotions that marketers need to know the difference between are press releases and media advisories. In this way, they can give media representatives exactly what they need and drive traffic, subscribers and sales more effectively.

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What is a press release?

A press release is news provided to journalists and other media representatives regarding important information about a business.

The goal is to report something new in the business, such as:
  • A product launch
  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • A successful round of new funding
  • A live event that will take place or has taken place

and so on.

A press release is similar to a news story as you would wish it to appear in newspapers and on websites. The goal of the press release is to get media pickups. Media reps decide whether or not the information in your release is worth writing about.

A good press release is written in a particular format to report the facts and give media reps the information they need most.

Key elements of a press release include:
  • Headline
  • Subheadline
  • Opening paragraph
  • Images and video
  • Quotations
  • Contact information for the business, and for media reps who want to follow up and learn more

What is a media advisory?

A media advisory is a one-page description of a future event. It is an exclusive invitation given to media representatives that contain only the most important details of the event. Media advisories are for the media. This is in hopes of media reps to attend the event and create buzz to their audience. It gives them the most important facts in an easy to read format without any extras.

Unlike the press release, a media advisory is not a full story. It is similar to an invitation written in the following format:
  • Contact information
  • A short headline

The 5Ws:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

Example:

Who: Author John Smith

What: Virtual book talk online

Where: URL

When: Day, date, time, including time zone

Why: The author will be launching their new book about X topic and answering questions from the audience.

It should be sent at least 5 days prior to the event and must be newsworthy in some way in order to grab their attention. A new book launch is a good example of real news.

The two types of writing differ in format, and also in purpose and length.

Purpose

A media advisory is a quick newsflash designed to drum up attendance at a live event such as a grand opening, fashion show, webinar and so on. It simply reports the facts. A press release, on the other hand, is a story that can take place before or after a live event, for instance, or another noteworthy happening, reporting on the most important details and providing information about the business, as well.

Length

A good press release is about 400 to 500 words. A media advisory will be around 100 to 150.

Timing

Press releases are usually published within a day or so of a live event has taken place, or about to take place. Media advisories are published at least 5 days in advance in order to stimulate attendance and give them time to schedule their passing along of the information.

Distribution

Press releases get spread widely through press release distribution services. Media advisories get sent to reporters interested in your niche, editors, news agencies, bureau chiefs and TV/radio producers, depending on how big an event it will be. You will need to do some research in order to come up with a list of people to email your media advisories to.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value brand messaging and reach.

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