Be purposeful with your announcement.
Be clear with your event or announcement, and keep your focus on one message.
Make sure all information included is accurate and connects directly to your message. Include your best contact information and the location and time of your event.
Consider your audience.
Depending on your target audience, you should tailor to your viewer’s interests and needs. Make sure the action of the message is explicit and makes sense to your audience.
Grab your audience’s attention!
Include compelling visuals, emotional responses, or humor to catch your audience and encourage them to attend.
Be concise with your words.
The more direct your message is, the better understanding people will be of your goal. Too many words will drown the intention of the message. Avoid fluff.
PSA’s vs Media Releases
Media Releases (Press release) and PSA’s (Public Service Announcement) are both forms of written communication that informs the public. Both can be submitted to media outlets such as radio stations, television stations or newspapers.
So what’s the difference?
A media release is used to gain the attention of a media outlet in order to promote or market a company’s product or service. A media release is written to attract the attention of a journalist, writer or media outlet in order to obtain an interview for story coverage. This would be sent to pitch an idea for an article or additional coverage.
A public service announcement, by contrast, is submitted to the media in order to benefit the general public (rather than to promote a specific product or service). These communications are informational and give basic context rather than crafting a compelling story.
Type of Business
Generally, PSAs are written and produced by non-profit organizations. A for-profit business may issue a PSA if their announcement is non-profit in nature or intended for public knowledge. (Free to attend events, sponsorship of community projects, or actions that affect the general public).
A media release is issued to promote events, services, and draw attention to an organization. (New product launches, ticketed events, rebranding, hiring)
A PSA is typically much shorter in length than a media release. Provide the basic information of Who, What, Where and When.
A media release tells a bigger story. Still short in length, no longer than two pages, a media release tells the tale of the promoted information. The Who, What, Where and When are elaborated upon and given context. The addition of the Why compels the recipient to include it in their news coverage or find out more.
PSAs are written in a structured single page with the title PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT and the organization/individual’s contact information. Bold and capitalize the title. Times new roman 12pt font single spaced is preferred for body text. End the announcement with seven centered pound signs ( ####### ) A PSA should be written as if it could be read as a radio announcement. Use matter of fact language rather than descriptive.
A media release promotes a story rather than simply presenting information. The title should introduce the story “Art Week to begin June 20th”, “Marquette Arts Awardees Have NMU Ties” and be in all caps at the top of the release. A date should follow and a photo is suggested. The body should be written in paragraph format beginning with the informative specifics and broadening to the story. Language should be concise and straightforward, leave the narratives to the journalists. Relevant context and additional history can be included to enrich the Why. A media release should be no more than two pages. Additional photos can be included at the end of the body text. At the bottom of the page credit for preparation, contact information and original story source should be given.
Prepared by Amelia Pruiett, Marketing and Promotions
City of Marquette’s Office of Arts and Culture