Are you prepping up for your first-ever press release distribution? You must be super excited to roll out the big news. But do you want to roll out a press release, OR do you need a media advisory? 

Interestingly, I also didn’t know the difference between the two terms. In fact, I had no clue if there’s something like ‘media advisory.’ I just learned that and am about to share the same with you.

In this post, I’ve first defined the two terms – press releases and media advisories. Then I’ve shared some differences between the duo, followed by some similarities. And ways to write efficient content for the duo.

Let’s begin.

What is a Media Advisory?

A media advisory is an announcement written about a future event. It’s essentially an invitation to media representatives and includes only event details.

The key elements that usually make the media advisory include your company name, first and last name, email address, and phone number.

While writing a media alert, make you answer the 5 W’s:

  • Who – who can attend the event?
  • What – what’s that event about?
  • When – when is the big day?
  • Where – where the company is holding the event?
  • Why – why should the reader (media representative) attend the event?

What is a Press Release?

A press release is an official announcement from the company and is for journalists, media representatives, and other interested readers. It’s about sharing newsworthy information.

Unlike media advisories, press releases are anything that includes valuable information. It helps in brand awareness and recognition. It’s explicit content and can go as long as two pages (details to follow).

The key elements that make up a press release include a headline, a sub headline (optional), an opening paragraph, company logo, quotations, and contact information.

A press release is anything the company wants to share with the world. It may include:

  • New product announcement/launch
  • Fundraising news
  • Release of a special report
  • A company milestone
  • Announcement of a new executive
  • And much more

Differences Between a Press Release and Media Advisory

Now that you understand the two terms, it’s time to find significant differences between a press release and a media advisory. Technically, there are five differences between a press release and a media advisory.

differences between a press release and media advisory

Purpose

According to the definitions above, the purpose of press release distribution is to share details about the event or newsworthy announcement.

On the other hand, a media advisory is an official invitation to media representatives to attend an official event.

Length

Since a media advisory is merely an invitation, it’s limited to 100 to 150 words. This count is enough for the required content.

In contrast to that, a press release is an explicit content. It can go up to two pages. The average word count for a press release is between 400 to 500 words.

Timing

Some say timing doesn’t matter for press release distributions. It doesn’t stand true. Being into the press release distribution services, we recommend rolling out press releases one day ahead of the big day.

The timings for media advisories will vary. The minimum time to roll out a media alert is three days. The best practice is to send the word 5-7 days ahead of the main event, followed by a reminder after 2-3 days.

Audience

Each type of content has a different audience. For media advisories, your target audience would be attending the event, such as media representatives. 

For press releases, your target audience is a much larger group. The target audience is everyone interested to know about your company and products/services. The related audience of your press release includes journalists and relevant stakeholders.

Sending press releases to the masses is generally done by acquiring the best press release distribution services. Make sure you hire the best to reach a wider audience.

Information

While writing a media advisory, keep the content short and precise. You don’t have to make it too detailed. Just talk about the critical plan and send an invitation to the right audience.

On the other hand, since press releases are pretty detailed, you can share a lot more information, which could be helpful to your audience.

Similarities Between a Press Release and Media Advisory

Unlike differences between the duo, there’s only one common similarity between a press release and a media advisory – both must include newsworthy content. It must not go out as a press release or media advisory if it isn’t valuable to readers. The best possible way to roll out the usual content is by writing blog posts.

Writing a Press Release and a Media Advisory

Now that you can define the two terms and differentiate between them, it’s time to draft the content. 

Drafting an Eye-Catchy Press Release

There are usually seven steps to write an outstanding press release:

7 steps to write an outstanding press release

  1. Writing Newsworthy Press Release: Before writing content for a press release, make sure you’re writing newsworthy content. This part will help you identify your audience, what information to share, and when to roll out the content.
  2. Writing an eye-grabbing title: Press releases often have a headline and a sub headline. Both must be short (the latter is usually more extensive). Use action verbs, a clear tone, and a meaningful title.
  3. Grab attention in the first few lines: The first few lines are crucial to the whole content. This point will decide if the reader will read it all or leave it unattended. Make every word count matter and make the best out of it.
  4. Explain the essence in the body: After the introductory few lines come the body. It’s the part that has every detail of the announcement. For example, if your press release is about an upcoming new smartphone, outline everything you want readers to know about in this part.
  5. Don’t forget to add boilerplate: Unlike blog posts, press releases have a boilerplate that’s your “about” section. Tell a little about the company, the awards your company has won, and anything valuable to readers.
  6. Add links in the content: Adding links serves two purposes; (a) it generates backlinks, which is valuable for SEO, and (b) authenticates your content. Don’t miss out on important links, but don’t overdo it.
  7. Use the right time: As said previously, press releases can have a short dateline, i.e., one day ahead of the main event. A press release after the dateline isn’t a press release. It merely becomes a blog post. PR distributions also follow a set schedule. Make sure you know the best time to send a press release and follow to get the best out of it.

Writing an Effective Media Advisory

Being a separate entity, a media advisory has five essential parts. Cater these into the content and make it as effective as possible.

5 essential steps to write an effective media advisory

  1. Keep it short: Media advisories are always shorter than press releases. Keep the content under 150 words. The content is usually distributed in bullets. 
  2. Mention “Media Advisory” or “Media Alert” as a Subject Line: Let the readers know that you’re rolling out a media advisory instead of a press release. The subject line will help busy publishers know the content and enhance the opening rates.
  3. Tell readers what they’ll get: State whether the attendees would gain opportunities like interviews, photos, or videos. Knowing what they would get from the event, they would come well prepared.
  4. Offer an itinerary: Brief readers on how the event time is distributed and certain things will happen.
  5. Send the content to the right audience: Media advisories aren’t for everyone. They’re usually for media representatives. Target only relevant individuals.

What NOT to do with a Press Release or Media Alert?

Both contents are super valuable for businesses. These aren’t random guest posts that you write and publish on third-party platforms. To make the best out of each, add all the relevant information. Don’t dodge your audience and come straight to the point.

For other types of content marketing, you may hire content marketing solution providers who’ll uplift your website’s ranking by writing and distributing relevant content across various platforms.

Wrapping Up

Both press releases and media advisories serve the same core feature – brand awareness. But both follow a different style and format.

Now that you’ve learned the basics and secrets about the two, it gets easier for you to choose the right thing at the right time and draft content that’s hard to ignore.

If you want to know more about press releases and media advisories, such as how to maximize ROI from distributing the two, you may reach out to iCrowdNewswire and get everything in your hand.