Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Difference between a media release and an advertisement

If you have written many press releases and very little have been picked up by newspapers, it could be because your releases are seen by the media as a pure advertisement or plug for your business. Differences between media releases and advertisements are explained below:

Media Release:
  • Uncontrolled form of communication. As you are not paying for an amount of space, you are not guaranteed it will get published. If it does get published it is at the mercy of the journalist as to what they include and what they don’t include about your organization.

  • The aim of a media release is to be published by a news channel to obtain validation from a third party.

  • Incorporates a strong news angle. It is used to generate third party credibility. For example if you are successful in getting a media release published in the Brisbane Courier Mail and readers see that Courier Mail’s Travel Editor, Mike O’Connor endorses this wine tour as a great experience, people may be more inclined to remember the name of that tour.
  • A controlled form of communication that you pay for and can therefore have full control over what is said in the advertisement.

  • No news angle needed, as you are simply plugging your organization.

  • May not be as effective in gaining readers’ attention, as it is not validated by a third party. People are exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day and therefore may not be remembered by your target market. There is a danger of people dismissing advertisements, as they know organizations can tell them how good their product or service is but how do they know the organization actually delivers on their promise. This is where a media release it appropriate; as it provides an endorsement from a third party telling readers the organization lives up to its promise not the organization simply giving itself another plug.

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