In the last decade, the different ways in which business owners can promote their companies and attract attention have changed dramatically. The most significant shift has been in digital advertising spending. According to Zenith, internet ad spending in the United States is expected to rise 12.4 percent to over $135 billion in 2020, accounting for 53 percent of all ad spending. This means that online advertising now accounts for more than half of all advertising spending. Thanks to COVID-19 and the seemingly never-ending lockdowns that came with it, the world is much more focused online. Needless to say, businesses now have a better chance of attracting attention online. This is an excellent time to capitalize on current trends to promote your business.

There are numerous ways for businesses to promote themselves in the digital world, including social media marketing, email campaigns, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, press releases, and media advisories.

This article will look at press releases and media advisories in particular since these are the two options that you can use to build brand awareness, drive website traffic and generate leads for your company.

What is a Press Release? 

A press release is a compelling and succinct news story written by a public relations professional and distributed to selected media outlets to announce a newsworthy development. A press release is written with the goal of getting coverage from relevant publications and placing a company right in front of its target audience where you will attract attention from potential buyers.

Some important news that can be covered in press releases include:

  • The release of a special report
  • A significant achievement for a company
  • A launch of a new product/service
  • The appointment of a new executive
  • An upcoming event

The inverted pyramid is a key component of the overall press release format. The elements of the inverted pyramid work together to maximize a company’s ability to reach its target audience and the media. When written correctly, press releases should concisely but adequately address the who, what, where, when, why, and how of any announcement.

What is a media advisory? 

A media advisory does not tell the whole story about your news in detail. It is a one-page description of an event that a company is hosting and an invitation to the press to attend. It only includes the essential details of the event. You could be inviting the media to a press conference, grand opening, book signing, live demonstration, and so on could all be part of the event. Creating and disseminating a media advisory is a great way to get the word out about your company’s event while encouraging journalists from relevant publications to attend.

Key differences between media advisory and press release 

The purpose, composition, length, and timing are the main differences between a media advisory and a press release. Knowing these distinctions will go a long way toward establishing credibility for your company and gaining media attention for your story. An event, a press conference, or an announcement can be turned into a news story by issuing a media advisory. After all, with the right public relations strategy, you can get the right members of the media to your event and convince them that you have a story worth writing about. In this way, whatever news you share at your event could end up being covered by the media. As mentioned previously, a media advisory has a different purpose and structure than a press release.

1) Purpose 

The purpose of a media advisory is to alert the media about an upcoming event. It’s a time-constrained invitation with only the most essential information. It’s usually used to alert the media of something noteworthy, and it’s only sent to journalists. In fact, a media advisory isn’t intended for publication outside the media. Just as with any other invitation, the media advisory can be declined. The media will decide whether or not to attend the event after receiving an advisory and whether or not to inquire for more details about the event. If someone decides that your event is newsworthy enough, they will accept your invitation. Thereafter, they will conduct appropriate research and develop a strategy before the event.

You can use a press release to provide additional information about your organization to the recipients of your media advisory. For example, you can cover explain how the event ties in with your product launch, a presentation, or some other newsworthy development at your company. A press release is sent to the media, but it can also be shared on a variety of forums and platforms. Keep in mind that you don’t have to send this press release before the event. On the contrary, you can actually send it after the fact.

 2) Composition 

A media advisory and a press release have nearly identical content. They have the same basic structure and contain the same primary data. When well-written, both include the 5W’s and the How of the news. While the basic elements of both documents are the same, you should make note of some key differences.

A media advisory is a one-page document that serves as a condensed version of your press release. The formatting is also similar to the formatting of a press release. Make sure you include contact information, headline, dateline, introduction, etc. A professional media advisory focuses on the facts of the event in question and nothing else. For this reason, it contains less detail than a press release, and almost no commentary.

A press release will include additional information about the event or company and media and other materials to support the story or event being presented to the media. This document contains a lot more information. While a media advisory is only sent to media professionals, press releases can be shared with the media in addition to being posted directly to social media and other online publications.

Finally, both a media advisory and a press release should include information about the company. The boilerplate section and contact information should be consistent. Both sections should always include enough detail to allow the media to obtain additional information easily if needed.

3) Timing 

This is probably the most significant difference between these two public relations tools. Many public relations experts believe it is critical to know the best time to release these documents and how frequently you should release them. After all, you don’t send these documents once and simply forget about them. In order to do effective PR for your brand, you need to learn how to use both a press release and a media advisory to your advantage in different situations.

Media advisories are sent out to media contacts well in advance of an announcement or event. They are usually sent to the media at least a week before the event. You can always send reminders containing more details of the event leading up to the day of the event. Remember that media professionals are extremely busy, always chasing a story or a deadline. They can’t afford to drop everything mere hours before your event so that they’re available to attend it. You need to give them sufficient notice in advance so that they can plan accordingly. If you want the recipients of your media advisory to actually attend your event, then timing is everything.

Press releases are sent at times that are appropriate for the purpose. Whether you’re sending your press release out to television news outlets, newspapers, radio outlets, or other forms of media, you still need to send your press release out far enough in advance so that they actually have time to get the details they would need to write a story about your announcement. You can also send your press release as a follow-up to your media advisory, therefore piquing interest in the event closer to the date.

4) Length 

Given that a press release generally contains more information than a media advisory, a press release should be 400 to 500 words long. On the other hand, a media advisory should be 100 to 150 words long.

Tips For Working With The Media 

Media Advisory 

1) Keep it short and simple 

Make a list of the event, the people who will be attending, and the date and location. Choose someone to be your press contact, and include that person’s name and phone number. Describe the event’s goal in a few words. If you are using video or a live feed, let the broadcasters know.

2) Offer a compelling preview

Create a compelling headline and lead sentence to pique the reporter’s interest. Don’t reveal the news you’ll be announcing, but give them offer enough of a sneak peek so that you can spark the recipient’s curiosity and entice them to come.

3) Send it to journalists 

Send your message to reporters who operate in your niche, as well as editors, news directors, bureau chiefs, and TV/radio producers.

In order to reach out to the right people, you need to start by building a media list of relevant media contacts in your industry. This media list should have all the contact information of each person you’re targeting, including the email needed to contact the media professional. If you’d prefer to focus on preparing for your event, you can hire the services of a PR agency like Pressfarm that offers custom media lists. Once you sign up to Pressfarm, the account executive starts building a media list with the best journalists, bloggers and influencers in your niche. If you actually want to build your own media lists, you can use Pressfarm’s database of over 1 million contacts across different industries for this purpose.

In addition to offering you media contacts for extended media outreach, Pressfarm can also help you create quality content that will appeal to these contacts when you’re reaching out. With a professional press release, some interesting guest posts and an eye-catching media kit, you can capture media attention when it matters most.

Once the team at Pressfarm has created this content for you, they can go one step further to distribute it widely. By submitting your content to the right media outlets, startup directories and professional networks, Pressfarm can boost your online presence. This distribution strategy is designed to make it easy for members of your target audience to find you through organic searches featuring keywords associated with your brand.

With the right PR package from Pressfarm, you can get your brand in front of the right eyes when it matters most.

4) Follow up with an email/phone call 

Share all the pertinent information about your event, and make sure your pitch is succinct and persuasive. If the journalist does not answer or is not available when you call to follow up, leave a message. While phone calls are an option, many PR experts focus on sending emails because it is less of an invasion of privacy. The last thing you want to do is make a journalist feel like you’re harassing them.

With a good media list, this step will be a breeze because it will be easy to reach out to the right journalist using the best channels for communication.

Press Release 

1) Put the most important information first 

As mentioned above, the most effective press releases are written in the inverted pyramid style, with the headline and the first paragraph containing the most critical information.

2) Include all the information needed to create a story 

Write in a professional tone that conveys authority. Additionally, you should deliver the news you’re sharing in enough detail so that the reporters can write a complete story based on your press release alone.  In order to accomplish this, you should always keep the 5Ws in mind.

3) Distribute it to journalists who have received the media advisory 

Sending a press release out shortly after you send your media advisory is an effective way of convincing the media professionals who received the advisory to come to your event. Additionally, you should prepare a press kit to hand out at the event. You should include the press release as well as other relevant materials such as fact sheets, news clips, or statements in the press kit. Basically, anything that would help the press to understand your news and write a story about it is fair game when you’re designing this press kit.

4) Send an embargoed release ahead of time if your announcement is complex and reporters will need lots of time to prepare a story

Sometimes your press release announcement is complex and you need to give the recipients extra time to process the information and gather the facts. However, if you’re sending an embargoed press release out, make it clear that the story cannot be published before the release date. You can do this by writing “EMBARGOED UNTIL (date)” at the top left hand of your press release. Nevertheless, even when you do this, you should be prepared to face the risk of a journalist or media outlet releasing your news ahead of time. Your press conference and media strategy may be harmed if a reporter breaks the embargo and publishes the news ahead of schedule.

Conclusion 

With the information above, you should now have a clear understanding of the differences between a press release and a media advisory. Both media advisories and press releases are practical tools for generating earned media coverage, increasing sales, and spreading your company’s message. However, both these tools only work if you do everything from your story development to messaging and pitching strategically. With the right strategy, you can get influential media contacts to attend and cover your event.