Press Pitch vs. Press Release vs. Press Advisory: Key Differences Explained
When it comes time to get the word out about your brand, getting the press’ attention is the first crucial step. As an entrepreneur, you need to communicate with the media, and in order to do that right you need to understand the differences between three vital tools in the PR toolbox – the press pitch, the press release, and the press advisory.
They may all sound similar so it is easy to get them confused. However, each has a specific purpose and each should be used to meet your specific media goal. Let’s break down the differences between each of these vital PR tools.
Press Pitches are emails you send out to journalists. A press pitch should cover the who, what, why, when, and how of what you are trying to get out about your brand. These pitches are brief, at most two or three paragraphs, and tailored to the specific recipient. Brevity is important in key to your press pitch. According to a 2021 State of Journalism survey, it was found that more than 90% of journalists prefer pitches of 200 words or less. In today’s competitive world of media, your email will be competing against thousands of others so be sure to use a compelling subject line, the journalist’s name, limit explaining your idea to two to four sentences, and don’t forget a call to action. Ideally, your press pitch’s call to action should come in some form of “Would you be interested in talking to Mr. ABC?”.
Press Releases are formal written announcements. Press releases are the ideal tool to use when you are announcing a brand milestone, the launch of a new product, announcing a new executive, or releasing crucial information about your brand. These should be newsworthy pieces to entice the media to publish them and should include several elements. A solid press release includes a headline and subheadline that clearly infers what the press release is about. It should be dated. The lead sentence should state the most important information while the body of the press release should follow the traditional inverted pyramid news style of writing. A quote from a spokesperson will strengthen your press release. Lastly, a good press release has a company boilerplate and relevant contact information. Like the press pitch, it should answer who, what, why, when, how, and where if relevant to the story. Unlike the press pitch, a press release is usually one to two pages. They are often sent out via wire service but PR professionals have access to groups of journalists that are relevant to specific press releases.
Press Advisories are sometimes referred to as media alerts. They are generally not a full story but an invitation to the media to attend an event your brand is hosting. It is usually a one-page description of an event that includes the most important details so that journalists can decide whether they want to attend or cover it. The details should be written to persuade and convince them it is worth their time. Typically, a press advisory is sent out three to five days in advance of the event giving journalists time to decide as well as time to add it to an already tight schedule. Creating and distributing a press advisory is the ideal tool to generate a buzz around your event and get journalists to cover it.
Press releases, press pitches, and press advisories are three vital tools in a PR toolbox. Each serves an important purpose and has an intended goal. A good publicist can guide you in choosing the right tool for the right situation as well as getting it in front of the journalists relevant to your brand’s message or event.
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