A media advisory is a one-page announcement used to invite members of the press to attend an upcoming event. While similar to press releases and written in much the same way, the specific goal of a media advisory is to entice journalists to attend your event, rather than simply covering your announcement. Download our media advisory template and learn how to write a media advisory that attracts attention and drives media attendance.
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Free Media Advisory Template
It is important to follow the accepted media advisory format journalists expect to see. To make learning how to write a media advisory as quick and easy as possible, we created a free media advisory template you can download that adheres to the standard media advisory formatting and guidelines. Use it as you follow the steps below for how to write a media advisory.
Download our free media advisory template now:
Learn how to write a media advisory that gets attention in six steps:
1. Confirm That a Media Advisory Is the Right Tool
A media advisory should be written and sent when you want the media to come to an event as part of its coverage. In comparison, a press release is what you want to write and send if you want the media to share a newsworthy topic related to your business. Sometimes, a press release announces an event, but it can also be the opening of a new location, hiring a new executive team member, or winning a prestigious award.
The key difference between a media advisory and a press release is the action you’d like the recipient to take upon receiving it. A media advisory is a one-page, information-only invitation addressed and sent specifically to members of the press to encourage their attendance so that they can craft their own news story based on their firsthand experience.
On the other hand, a press release is more like an article that is designed to be shared as is. It covers key facts and information with the goal of generating general (and media) interest in a news announcement, which may or may not be related to an event. Ultimately, the goal of a press release is for its contents to get picked up by both small and large media outlets and shared for additional coverage and exposure.
If you think a press release is better suited to your needs and goals, head over to learn how to write a press release, along with a helpful free press release template to guide you.
2. Get the Right Media Advisory Formatting
Before writing your advisory, it’s important to get the structure and formatting right. If you want your media advisory to be read by people in the media, follow industry standards in formatting so the reader knows exactly where to look for specific event details quickly. To make your writing process easy, download our free media advisory template.
If you want to dress up the layout and look of your media advisory to make it more eye-catching and appealing to journalists, you can hire a professional graphic designer for as little as $5 on Fiverr.
3. Determine Your Audience
Next, determine who your audience is and how you can appeal to them. It is important to know your audience so you can address what will specifically interest them.
The best indicator of who the audience is for your media advisory is the type of event. For example, if you are holding a business or news press conference, you want reporters and journalists to attend, while you’d want a social scene writer to attend when you’re hosting a fundraiser. Tailor your advisory’s content so that it’s written for your intended audience.
Most media outlets have reporters who cover specific, major topics like politics, education, local business, or technology. Decide what type of media professionals would be most interested in your event and focus on writing for them. When targeting specific reporters who cover events related to your industry, read some of their articles and write your advisory with them in mind.
4. Write an Eye-catching Headline
It’s important to spend time crafting a great headline so that those who see it become interested enough to read the rest of your advisory and attend your event. A headline is the summary of your media advisory, and it sits at the top and center of the page. It should be in bold type and is typically from 65 to 80 characters in length.
Here’s how to write a compelling headline:
- Be concise: Keep your max character count between 65 and 80 characters in length (including spaces). If your headline is too long, it’s likely to get cut off in the list of search engine results shown on Google and in searches on smaller screens, such as mobile devices.
- Tie it to a trending topic or current event: An effective way to generate interest in your event is to tie it to a trending topic. For example, if you are hosting an event in October, you could tie it to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By doing this, your event will feel more timely, and you may gain additional interest from some who might otherwise overlook your media advisory and event.
- Lead with a value proposition: Journalists aren’t checking out media advisories because they want something to do on a Friday night. They’re looking to get ideas for stories they can write for their media outlets. Leading with the main reason they should attend your event is the best way to capture their interest.
Here are examples of intriguing headlines from media advisories:
Media Advisory Headline Examples
5. Detail Your Event in the Media Advisory Body
Now that you have a headline, provide all the vital information regarding your event. Media advisories should be no longer than one page total, and should only cover the most important details, such as location, date, theme, and reason for the event.
Explain what the event is, what is going to happen, and what they will experience at your event. For example, will there be a good photo or story opportunity? Who will be there? Will there be any celebrities or influencers on hand? Next, offer details on when and where the event will be, as well as any pertinent information needed, such as registration information or driving and parking instructions.
At the very end, add three pound or hashtag signs (###) as the last line at the bottom of your advisory. This lets the media know the information is concluded, signaling “this is the end.”
6. Distribute Your Media Advisory
Once your media advisory is ready to be distributed, decide on a distribution method to get it to members of the press who would be interested in attending. Media advisories should be sent about five to seven business days before the date of your event. In order to garner the greatest attention, send your advisory and then call the newsroom of each media outlet you sent it to follow up and ensure they received it.
There are two main ways to distribute your media advisory, and they can also be used in combination:
- Direct outreach to press contacts: If you have a list of local news media contacts, you can send your advisory directly by email. However, please note that your advisory shouldn’t be attached as a document. Instead, copy the content of your advisory directly into the body of your email. This way, it’s more likely to be read and less likely to land in a spam folder.
- Use a distribution service: The easiest way to reach a wide yet targeted audience is by using a professional press release distribution service like Newswire. This gives you maximum exposure, giving your media advisory the best chance of getting noticed and generating press attendance.
Once you have sent out your media advisory, follow up with the news outlets that received it. Following up with journalists is the best way to get them committed to attend your event. It also allows you to stand out from the hundreds of other people who sent media advisories since most don’t bother following up with a phone call.
A media advisory much like a press release and it is an effective tool to gain press attendance for your event, especially when it’s formatted correctly, written concisely, and distributed for maximum exposure. Give your media advisory the best shot at reaching your goals by using a professional distribution service to reach the right journalists in the right places, such as Newswire.