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Avoiding 2 Most Misused Words in Publicity: Media Vs Article

February 15, 2024
media vs article

When thinking about publicity, it’s easy to think of the end product – i.e. the finished article and think that’s what you need to submit to the journalist.

Ahhh, that would be no.

In this blog, we will be talking about the 2 most misused words in publicity, and how using the right word will be a big help for your target goals.

MEDIA VS ARTICLE

Media

What you really need (in most cases) is a media release which is totally different to an article. Whilst some publications DO take submissions of articles from external people (like you), the most common way to have an ‘article’ appear in a newspaper or magazine is to send the journalists a media release or pitch.

Confuse an ‘article’ with a ‘media’ release and you’re destined for failure.

Let’s use the old hardware store sausage sizzle as an analogy.

A media release is creating the alluring smell of the BBQ that wafts into the journalists nose and brain and has them ‘lean in’ for more.  The smell is what entices them, the promise of something more, the allure of what is to come.

Article

An article, conversely, is where you serve up the cooked sausage, in the bread, with the onions (on top or underneath is a matter for debate!) and top it with sauce and/or mustard – ready to eat.

Too often I hear people saying that they want to send the journalist an ‘article’ when really what they need to send is a media release that pitches the idea for a story (the smell of the sausage).

I often refer to the media release as the #1 door opener as it really is the best tool to get your idea for a story across to a journalist.  Every year at our MasterClass journalists will tell our delegates to always email them first – NOT call – with their pitch idea. So, the importance of a media release cannot be overstated.

So, what’s in this magical document called a media release?

UNCOVERING THE NATURE OF MEDIA RELEASE

First, it must be written in the third person and targeted to the journalist NOT your potential client, and it always starts with what we call an unwalkpastable headline. Yep ,that’s a made up word that simply means the headline is so compelling (the aroma so strong) that the journalist simply can’t walk past it in their inbox.

For example, if you’re in finance and you want to discuss the perils of kids not being taught financial literacy at school, the headline wouldn’t be:

“What your kids aren’t being taught at school about money.” – This headline is speaking to the parent of the child, not the journalist.

Instead, we would ‘pitch’ it to the journalist with something like:

“Why 96% of Australia’s school students will work their whole life and still retire broke.”

This headline is based on statistics that show only 4% of people have enough money to retire on – and these stats would be further unpacked in the media release, creating a compelling pitch about the problem which results in the journalist ‘leaning in’ for more.

CONCLUSION

As with all good business tools, there’s a simple formula to follow for media releases, and that’s what we cover (among a whole lot more knowledge and wisdom) at our Meet the Press MasterClasses. We cover beyond understanding publicity, but also the complexities that you are equipped also for your future business goals.

Apply for the Masterclass

Get in before the competition does so you can pitch to Journos and increase your exposure!

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