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A media advisory is a short, concise communication sent out typically for an event and includes the Who, What, Where, When and Why. It’s generally used when targeting media to attend a specific media. Broadcast media generally doesn’t care about a press release they prefer media advisories with “specific details.” Media advisories should be used for special events with a special highlight, celebrity appearance, high profile keynote speaker, press conference, etc.
Tips for a Good Media Advisory:
The format of a media advisory
Sample of a media advisory
May 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lauren Garvey, Hitachi America, Ltd.
WHEN: Day, Month, Date, Year
Time, remember to state duration of event and if it’s a.m. or p.m.
WHERE: Location of Event
Address of Event (Include Cross Street)
City, State, Zip Code
WHO: List the names of who is involved with event typically prominent figures, i.e. CEO’s, Governor of State, Mayor or Celebrities Involved
WHAT: 1-2 paragraphs about what the event is about (No more than 2 paragraphs)
WHY: 1-2 paragraphs about why the event is being held (this is a news angle) this is your chance to attract the media to attend!
Tips on Media Alerts:
A Media advisory is strictly for an event, which includes the 5 W’s. a press release is written “news story” should include the following:
Press Releases should ALWAYS be Written in “Inverted Pyramid” Style
Generally the first tier or lead of the story is the first one or two paragraphs which include the most important facts. From there paragraphs are written in descending order of importance with progressively less important facts presented as the article continues…thus the inverted pyramid. Lead is most critical element usually answering the questions concerning:
When deciding on press release “news angles” consider the following:
Press Release Content:
Always written in pyramid style
Lead must answer Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Dateline format in release follows Associated Press Style (the bible for PR professionals) Also another guide used is the New York Times Guide.
New York, NY, March 27, 2008—Ronald O. Schram has been named manager of the hosiery department at Bloomingdale’s Paramus, NJ store.
Suggest visiting www.businesswire.com you can search and see how press releases should be structured!
Tips for Crafting your pitch letter
A good rule to follow is always remember, reporters ARE NOT your personal publicists. In order to get the interest of a reporter for a particular event you need to have a “unique” hook, celebrities are always a draw, but the downfall of celebrities is they typically won’t speak to the media. So if getting the support from a celebrity try and ensure their willingness to speak with the media or even do a “Meet and Greet” or “Photo session” Typically celebrities are very “guarded” and with good reason if you were a celebrity would you want to help a reporter, probably not given all they go through and lack of privacy.
When using celebrities another good idea is try to align your event/program/cause with that celebrity. Meaning try and find an alignment meaning they have a personal commitment to your cause or share your passion.
There really is so such thing as “off the record” reporters are always digging for a story. In some cases if you have an “established” relationship with a reporter you can have a backgrounding conversation. You can also state that this conversation is “off-the record” but that won’t stop that reporter from going to his editor if he thinks he has a story and he will be a blood-hound to get at the truth. This is particularly in cases where there is some “juicy or scandalous” news. You can proceed with “off the record” conversations but keep in mind the phrase “Buyer Beware---tread very carefully.”
This is another slippery slope, I would never recommend doing this with a local or regional paper, they get particularly “miffed” if you do this and you need them especially if you are a local grassroots organization and their papers are important to getting out the word.
I would suggest an exclusive for a national publication, Wall Street Journal, NY Times. In fact, typically it’s best to approach them with an exclusive but again remember you must have a “very newsy” story to tell. You have to have a really strong newsangle to get their interest, you need to look at the bigger picture, why should they cover it, what is the benefit for them communicating about it to the public at large.
Key principles to remember when dealing with a Crisis situation:
This happens to all of us even the best PR practitioners and publicists. Prior to an interview or speaking with the media, you should be prepared. It’s always best to make a list of questions you anticipate can be asked and then draft responses. Keep your responses short and concise, by giving long winded answers you give the “reporter leeway” to take what you have said “out of context.”
Generally reporters will only make a correction or clarification if what you are questioning is “factually wrong” this usually applies to financial numbers and hard facts which are either correct or incorrect.
Also when going back to a reporter and asking for a correction, again tread carefully, you need to try to not burn the bridge, typically in my experience I will jot the reporter a note, and complimenting them on the piece and that is was nice to work with them. And then point out “by the way, for future reporter, the point you made relating to……This way you are pointing out the point you feel is incorrect and letting them know.
Of course if something is “wrong” then you must ask for a correction. Keep in mind too, that very seldom do people see the corrections, so if going to a reporter to request a clarification or correction make sure it’s really important, otherwise may be best to let it go!