News Releases, Media Advisories
and Media Kits
Updated 14 August 2015

News releases are documents that convey information about a company or organization to the news media in a "ready-to-publish" format.  Although some reporters use the news release as the starting point for a story, others may end up publishing or broadcasting it verbatim.  Either way, the information provided in the news release must be accurate and timely.  Some keys to remember:

1.   Always consider the audience and purpose.Your audience here is not only an editor, but his or her audience.
2.   Fuzzy writing means fuzzy thinking.  Get to the point.  Avoid jargon.  Use active voice.
3.  Double-space the text of the release.  This leaves room for editors to edit.
4.   Each news release should begin with:
A media advisory is best described as an informal news release.  Instead of providing a narrative that is ready to publish, the media advisory provides reporters with the basic who, what, where, when, why and how.  These are typically used in announcing an event in which reporters are encouraged to attend.  Although less formal than a news release, a media advisory still requires accurate and timely information.  It also requires the name and telephone number of a contact person. They are called "media advisories," not "press advisories."  Press advisory is an outdated term that excludes electronic media, from which more people get their news.

A media kit is a package of materials designed to assist reporters in covering an issue or event.  In addition to news releases and media advisories, media kits also include background information, biographies, and any pertinent logistical information.They are called "media kits," not "press kits."  Press kit is an outdated term that excludes electronic media, from which more people get their news.  Media kits are specialized tactical executions that apply only to journalists.  When one send a packet of information of a non-journalists, it is an information packet, not a media kit.

Professor Charles Marsh provided information used in this section.

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