Media Advisory vs. a Press Release: What’s the Difference?

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media advisory vs. a press release

The PR industry is anticipated to grow to a worth of $134 billion worldwide by 2027. There’s no denying the power of the press, especially when it comes to press releases.

A press release is a powerful marketing tool capable of making a big impact on your business. It can amplify your message, enhance brand visibility, and help drive growth and success. Media advisories also fall under the PR umbrella, but they feature distinct differences from press releases.

If you’re interested in discovering more about the key differences between a media advisory vs. a press release, keep reading below for further information.

What Is a Press Release?

A press release is a concise written document designed to inform the media and the public about a product launch, a business announcement, or a  newsworthy event. It follows the 5 Ws and an H journalistic structure of answering the questions “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “When?”, “Why?”, and “How?”

What Is a Media Advisory?

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A media advisory is a brief communication tool used as an invitation for journalists and media representatives to attend a specific event or press conference. It includes a brief overview of the event’s purpose along with essential event logistics, such as the event’s location, date and time. and any noteworthy speakers who will be in attendance.

Media Advisory vs. Press Release: Key Differences

With the basic descriptions of a press release and a media advisory in place, we can delve deeper into how these press materials differ. Here are 12 key differences between a media advisory vs. a press release.

Purpose

The primary goal of a press release is to provide detailed information about a news event, product, service, or announcement. It serves to generate media coverage from relevant publication sources, as well as public interest in the particular subject matter.

On the other hand, the primary purpose of a media advisory is to invite journalists to attend an upcoming event, such as a press conference or product launch. This encourages media attendance and coverage of the event.

Content

Content is a main area of focus when examining the differences between a media advisory vs. a press release. With a media advisory, you want to have a short, sweet, and succinct description of the event with an emphasis on only the most important details of the event.

A press release is much more detailed. It reads as a compelling yet concise new story that covers important news topics relating to a business with quotes and a background story tied in. This could include content like a company milestone, a product launch, or a new executive.

Length

A press release’s length can vary based on the subject matter. Ideally, it should be kept to one page in length but can sometimes span two pages. You should aim for between 400 to 500 words of content to keep it as concise and to-the-point as possible so you don’t lose the reader’s interest.

For a media advisory, you’ll want to keep it even shorter. It should be no more than 150 words maximum. This will help you maintain a clear summary of the event’s details.

Format

To format a press release, you’ll want to follow a standard layout. This permits the reader to skim the article and obtain the most vital pieces of information easily.

Place your company’s logo prominently at the top of your press release. Press releases can help increase brand awareness and brand visibility by up to 68%. So, it’s important to feature your brand in your press release format.

Your press release should also feature your pertinent contact information in the upper lefthand corner including:

  • Company name
  • Contact name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Release Date

Include a compelling press release headline with an optional subheadline. Start your press release with a strong opening hook that piques the reader’s interest. Then move on to address the Who, What, Where, Why, and When, along with the How, if possible.

For a media advisory, remember that brevity is ideal. Place the words MEDIA ADVISORY or MEDIA ALERT at the top of the page. Underneath that, you will add your contact information as you would with the press release.

Follow your contact information with an event-focused headline. Address the 5 Ws of your event. Speak in broad terms as you don’t have the space for specific details.

Headlines

The headlines you use can also vary greatly between a media alert vs. a press release.

Press release headlines are engaging and newsworthy. Their job is to pull the reader in and make them want to read the entirety of the press release. It is also the headline’s task to convey the significance of the news.

Media alert headlines are less engaging and insightful. They are more straightforward and focused on the event portion itself. A media alert headline highlights and calls attention to key event data like the location, date, and time.

Call to Action

The Call to Action, or CTA, is the desired action you wish the readers of your media advisory or press release to take. It’s the whole reason why you wrote them in the first place.

For a media advisory, your desired CTA may be to encourage the journalists or media outlets reading it to attend the event. It may even contain information to RSVP.

A press release can provide a CTA with information for journalists to write their own stories based on the news. It could include details such as quotes, statistics, and company background info to aid the writing process.

Contact Information

Contact information in a press release is used for facilitating specific inquiries relating to your press release’s news or special announcement. It is intended for journalists and other media outlet professionals who may wish to conduct interviews, write stories, or gather more information.

Focus your press release contact information on the name of a media relations representative or spokesperson who can speak on your behalf.

With a media advisory, your contact information will relate event-specific details. You’ll want to include the name and contact details of a person or department responsible for handling logistical aspects of the event, such as RSVPs, media access, parking, and other practical details.

The purpose of media advisory contact information is to facilitate a smoother experience for event planning and media attendance.

Tone

Tone also plays an important part in a media advisory vs. a press release. A press release needs to follow a journalistic style. It can involve utilizing storytelling elements to engage the reader through a business’s journey and connect with the target audience.

A media advisory is often written in a straightforward and objective tone. It should remain brief and concise and stay focused on detailing primary event logistics only.

Audience

A press release targets a wider audience. This includes bloggers, influencers, media representatives, industry experts, and the general public. Having a broader audience helps to spread news and information to a wider pool.

Media advisories are tailored for any individuals and agencies who may be interested in covering an upcoming event, press conference, or similar occasions. They target journalists, editors, and media professionals with an interest in attending the event.

Visuals

Press releases often contain visuals that accompany the news story. They can include images and infographics to enhance the reader’s understanding of the news. Since many modern press releases are now available in a digital format, they can also contain videos and other multimedia elements.

A media advisory does not usually contain any visuals within the document itself. It may make mention of visuals like photos and videos that will be available at the event. It is strictly an informational document.

Timing

When it comes to both a media advisory vs. a press release, timing is everything.

For a media advisory, you’ll want to send one out twice before the event. It is recommended to send the first one between 5-7 days before the event itself. The second media advisory should go out the day before the event to remind your desired sources to attend.

A press release is often sent out after an event, news story, or announcement has already occurred. They serve as a detailed account of what the story or event entailed.

Distribution

Press release distribution is vital for getting your business the exposure it needs. They are often distributed to a wider audience, which includes journalists, bloggers, industry analysts, and sometimes even the general public. It’s important to choose the right distribution channels to generate the proper news coverage and interest.

Media advisories tend to go directly to editors and journalists. They may also be sent to media outlets. The distribution channels are more limited to those who are most interested in attending.

Trust the PR Experts at eReleases for High-Quality Press Materials

In the case of comparing a media advisory vs. a press release, you can see that they both serve an essential purpose in helping your business get noticed. But if you’re not sure how to craft a winning press release, turn to eReleases.

eReleases can help your small business get the attention it needs and deserves. We offer quality and fast press release writing services that are affordable and reliable. We can tailor and distribute a press release that gets results.

Contact the PR experts at eReleases today and see how we can help your business thrive.

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