A media advisory invites the media to a specific event, such as a news conference or presentation, or an event that may or may not be open to the public. Media advisories are typically sent to a smaller audience beginning one month to 14 days before the event and weekly until a day or so before the event as a reminder, or sooner if there are updates. Make sure to include all the important event details. Here’s a basic format:
Media Contact: Name, Title (email; phone)
Date of the event: Title of the event
WHAT: Write a brief description of the event that a reporter can easily read on air, print, share or otherwise publish. For example: This Banned Books Week, PFLAG Roanoke invites LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, teachers and anyone who supports inclusive education to join our Read With Love-in on Friday, Sept. 23rd outside the Roanoke Public Library. This peaceful demonstration raises awareness about how reading books about all kinds of topics and people are great ways to help kids learn about the world and thrive. Find out more by contacting…
WHO: List your special guests and speakers.
WHEN: Day, Date, and Time (Include the end time too, if relevant.)
WHERE: List the location address.
COST: If it’s free, say so.
CONTACT: List the contact information for the PUBLIC.
MORE: If you have partners, sponsors, or want to include more details about the event, like food, vendors, activities, etc., add it here.
*FOR MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ONLY: You may want journalists to have a different contact than the public, or want them to arrive at a different entrance or at a specific time, etc. Distinguish information for the media only by putting it on different lines and specifying MEDIA CONTACT (or MEDIA TIMES, parking information, etc.).
ABOUT PFLAG: This is where you list your chapter’s “About” information, including your chapter website and contact info.
A letter to the editor is written by readers of news outlet and may be in response to a previous news piece or column, or about a topic that hadn’t been covered yet. Letters typically must be brief (e.g. 100-200 words). Sending multiple letters on the same topic or a single letter expressing the views of the chapter are each effective ways to reach the editorial staff with your targeted message.
For press release and media advisory templates, visit the Advocacy Templates & Tools page.
An Op-Ed (opinion editorial) is a column that represents the opinion of a writer on an issue of relevance to a targeted audience. An op-ed is usually long (600 words or more, depending on the outlet), has a clearly defined topic and theme, and supports its clear position with research and other outside sources.
Before writing your Op-Ed check closely the particular outlet’s guidelines for submission to ensure that you have the opportunity to be published.
Step-By-Step Plan for Writing a Good Op-Ed:
- Start with a personal anecdote.
- Make your main point in the first or second paragraph.
- Begin to elaborate on two or three supporting points in the paragraphs that follow.
- Make sure your paragraphs are short and contain one main idea each.
- Use facts, statistics, and studies to support your arguments. Use metaphors to relate complex ideas.
- Conclude with a paragraph that draws the piece together and links to your opening.
- Explicitly support or oppose something.
- Link the op-ed to a current news story but keep the focus local.
- Personalize the op-ed with an anecdote.
- Use short, simple sentences.
- Avoid jargon.
Have more questions? Reach out to Laura McGinnis, Sr. Manager of Press & Public Relations for PFLAG National.