A press advisory is a public relations tool that alerts members of the press of a potential coverage opportunity. Reporters, journalists, and other media professionals rely on these announcements to get the scoop on an upcoming development or event. PR firms and companies make use of them to attract attention to notable happenings.
So if you or your company wants to invite coverage from the media, you might use a press advisory to do it. But how do you write and issue one? Is it your only option to make headlines?
This article will take a closer look at the press advisory, what makes it unique, and how to create one.
How To Write And Issue A Press Advisory
A press advisory is a single-page document with information that’s fairly standardized. It should be on official letterhead with the logo and contact information of the issuing party.
It should specify when the advisory is effective, which is usually indicated by the phrase, “For Immediate Release” followed by the date.
Contact information for a designated individual to whom a journalist can reach out to should be added after the date and before the advisory launches into key information about the coverage opportunity.
A press advisory will need a strong pitch line. It should be phrased like a headline and styled in bold, all-caps text. If necessary, a subtitle or an additional line of context can follow, which should be in italics. The goal is to grab the attention and lead with a hook that succinctly and accurately explains the development.
After the pitch line, a bulleted list of key journalistic questions, which are what, who, when, where, and why, should be answered. Each one should be in a single statement. This list functions as a cheat sheet for the most important aspects of the event and also tells reporters where and when the development will occur, as well as why it’s significant.
A background summary on the company or issuing party, and links to related information and media can be used to close out the press advisory.
Once the document is ready to be issued, it can be sent directly to news outlets that are most likely to attend and cover the event.
Make sure to issue your advisory within reasonable time for journalists to prepare and make arrangements, but not so far in advance that your news will fall by the wayside.
A Press Advisory Vs. Press Release
A press advisory is just one method for reaching out to the media and making headlines. Press releases can also be used for this purpose.
While they are easily confused or sometimes thought of as the same type of content, press advisories and press releases are very different.
A press advisory serves as a type of invitation to members of the press prior to a coverage-worthy event. A press release is a little more versatile. It can be used to spread the word of an upcoming development, such as a press release that gives notice of an upcoming event, but it can cover a range of other topics.
A press release is useful for making official statements and circulating company-issued news through media outlets. They can be used for upcoming developments as well as those that have recently occurred, as in the case of a press release that discusses a professional program participation.
Unlike a press advisory, a press release tells the story of a development in greater detail, similar to a news article.
Learning how to write a press release is different from learning how to create a press advisory, but fortunately, press release templates and other resources can show you how to apply key facts to a style that will resonate with journalists, customers, and other people you want to reach.