A media advisory is a notice that is issued to members of the media to alert them of a coverage opportunity. Public relations professionals and marketing specialists have traditionally used them to get the attention of journalists, reporters, and media editors.
A media advisory consists of a one-page document that provides essential information about an upcoming event or development. The information is focused on what’s happening, where and when it’s happening, who is involved, and why it’s significant.
A media advisory is meant to spell out why this development is coverage-worthy in the simplest terms possible. The most compelling facts should be presented in a bullet-pointed list or heading and statement format, which makes it easy for journalists to quickly see the merits of covering the topic.
The media advisory will usually specify the issuing party, such as a PR firm or a company’s marketing department, through the document’s letterhead. Additional and more specific contact details, as well as links to more detailed media and a background summary on the event or issuing company, are included at the end of the document.
Is A Media Advisory The Same As A Press Release?
A media advisory shouldn’t be confused with a media announcement or press release. Although media advisories and press releases are both used in PR and marketing campaigns and may even be included in the same press packet, they serve different purposes.
A media advisory can be thought of as a combination of an invitation and cheatsheet for members of the press that aids their coverage. A press release is meant to provide an official statement and explanation of a notable development in an objective tone but with more context.
Both media advisories and press releases help members of the media report on news items, but a media advisory is seldom published as-is. A press release, on the other hand, is distributed through media networks and news outlets. They might be read by journalists and used as a primary source, but they are also meant to reach casual readers like any other news headline or article.
While an event or development that merits a media advisory will also justify a press release, not all press release-worthy topics need a media release. Knowing which one is appropriate to use is just as important as knowing how to write a press release or a media advisory.
When Is A Media Advisory Appropriate?
A media advisory is most appropriate for an event that members of the media can attend or witness as it occurs. Product showcases, award ceremonies, groundbreakings, and technology demonstrations are just a few examples of the types of events that might call for a media advisory.
A media advisory would be issued with enough advanced notice for members of the press to make arrangements to attend, but not so far in advance that the notice falls by the wayside. They are typically submitted directly to individual journalists or through press cables.
A media advisory can sometimes be used to notify the press of a development that’s not necessarily related to an event but is still something worthy of coverage, such as a new product launch.
Reaching out to invite coverage of these developments should be done with a complete press packet, which will include a media advisory, press release, and other documents that provide concise but adequate content.
For an example of how to create content that efficiently gives journalists what they need, and also accounts for the interests of the average news reader, these high-quality press release templates will be helpful.
Unlike a media advisory, a press release can be used to publicize an event or development that has recently passed but still merits attention from the media and public overall. For example, both a media advisory and a press release can be used to attract attendees to an upcoming event.
If the event has recently passed, then a media advisory is usually no longer a necessity. A press release can still be used to share what happened and show why it was significant. A press release that broadcasts a recent community outreach event, for example, can still be a useful part of a marketing campaign and it can still attract media attention after the fact.