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Have you ever wondered what the difference was between the terms ‘press release‘, ‘media release’, ‘media alert’, and ‘media pitch?’
Well, you’re not alone.
They all kind of sound the same, don’t they?
However, there are critical differences between them.
If you’re just getting started in tackling some public relations or publicity for your business, you’ll need to be clear on what those differences are, so your story doesn’t immediately get rejected.
So if learning how to approach the media, online publications, or podcast hosts with confidence appeals to you, keep reading.
Or listen to the podcast episode below.
Listen to the podcast
Press release vs. Media release vs. Media alert vs. Media pitch
If you prefer to watch the video check it out below.
Press release vs. Media release vs. Media alert vs. Media pitch: What are the differences?
If you’re continuing here in the blog, let’s get into it.
The difference between a ‘press release’ and a ‘media release’
Let’s start with the question of the day. Are ‘press releases’ and ‘media releases’ different?
The answer is no. They are exactly the same thing.
When I first began my career as a journalist, they were called ‘press releases’ and were sent to us via a fax machine. Now that’s showing my age!
But fast forward to 2022, the more modern term is a ‘media release’ and they are, of course, now emailed.
We also don’t call journalists ‘the press’ anymore. They are ’the media’.
What is a ‘media release’?
It’s the written notification of a business’s or individual’s newsworthy event or announcement.
Its purpose is to attract interest from the media, so the message is shared more broadly on TV, online or in printed publications.
A media release must answer journalism’s Five Ws and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how).
To construct a media release include the following:
A catchy headline to grab their attention
One sentence that sums up why they should be interested in your story
Underneath a series of short paragraphs fleshing out important details
Quotes from your spokesperson
Contact information at the bottom
1 – 1 ½ pages maximum.
What is a ‘media alert’?
It contains similar information to a media release, but, think of it as an invitation.
Your media alert is asking the media to attend your event or announcement.
In it, you still need to cover the Five Ws and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how), but it’s extra brief.
You’re giving the bare-bones outline of why they should attend.
What is the main newsworthy element they need to know?
Include the following information in your media alert:
An enticing headline
The event or announcement summary
The date and location
Who the media talent or spokesperson is
Dot points to add a few key messages or statements
Most media alerts are distributed twice, first a couple of weeks before the event, and then the day before.
If you can, follow up the morning of the event with a phone call to the editor or chief of staff.
This way, your story is at the top of their mind and may even get prioritised.
What is a ‘media pitch’?
Think of it as a conversation between you and the journalist, blog writer or podcast host.
This is your chance to suggest story ideas to them via email or on the phone. It gives them an idea for a story they could write, or an interview they could do.
Media pitches are shorter and less formal than media releases.
A media pitch should be a few paragraphs long and tell them exactly what is new or exciting about your story idea.
The key here is to find the newsworthiness of what you have to say.
This isn’t a promotion or an ad. You really need to think about what sets you apart from other businesses.
To learn more, I recommend listening to my podcast episode where I explain the 3 the reasons why your media pitch gets ignored or deleted or read the article here.
Press releases and media releases are the same. They provide details of your newsworthy event or announcement, cover the 5Ws and H (who, what, when, where, why and how), and include quotes.
A media alert is an invitation for the media to attend your newsworthy event.
A media pitch is a story idea you suggest to the media, an online publication or a podcast. In it, you are selling yourself in a few short paragraphs.
[Infographic] Press release or media release vs. media alert vs. media pitch
See the infographic below with a summary of the media tools: Press release or media release vs. media alert vs. media pitch.
Ready to get started?
If you’re keen to get started on your publicity now and would like some guidance you can book your FREE Unlock Your Sellable Story Audit with me (1:1 call).
We’ll discuss your goals, find your sellable story and start planning your next media release or media pitch.
So, if attracting new customers through promoting your business to the media, online publications and podcasts are what you want to do more of, book this call with me.
For more tips in content, marketing, videos and publicity, listen to all my “Improve Your Content in 5 Minutes” episodes.
If you want to learn the 3 essential types of content you need to be creating for your business to attract and convert customers, listen to the podcast below or read it on the blog.