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What Is a Media Advisory?

Media AdvisoryA media advisory alerts the media, in a concise manner, to upcoming events and developments pertinent to your library and community. Think of it like an invitation and answer only the important questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

Key elements of a media advisory

  • It should be brief and to the point.
  • It should contain a headline detailing the most important information.
  • It should include the five Ws mentioned above.
  • It should include contact information for reporters to get more information for their pieces and the contact
  • information you would like to be published if this is for a listing.
  • It should include a boilerplate, which is basically a brief description of your library, located at the end of the advisory. If there is little room left for this, you can shrink the type size for this paragraph.

The format of a media advisory

  • At the top left side of the page, write MEDIA ADVISORY.
  • Underneath MEDIA ADVISORY, include the date of your event; for example, “For Sept. 19, 2004.”
  • At the top right side of the page, include your contact information.
  • At the bottom of the page, type # # # indicating the end of the advisory.
  • Be sure to print out the advisory on your library letterhead.

Sample of a media advisory

For September 8, 2005

September 7, 2005 (406) 444-5357

WHEN: Thursday, September 8, 2005
8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: Lewis & Clark Library
120 S. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601

WHO: Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana
Darlene Staffeldt, Montana State Librarian
Judy Hart, Lewis & Clark Library Director

WHAT: September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! To celebrate, Governor Brian Schweitzer will get a library card at his new local library – the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena. He will also debut a new poster that encourages Montanans to get a library card for free access to everything from books to computers to movies to music.

WHY: September is National Library Card Sign-up Month – a time when libraries across the country remind parents and schoolchildren that a library card is the most important school supply of all. The observance was launched in 1987 to meet the challenge of then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said:  "Let's have a national campaign...every child should obtain a library card - and use it."  Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that. This is the first time the Governor of Montana has participated in the statewide campaign to encourage Montanans to obtain a library card.


Excerpted from the American Library Association’s A Communications Handbook for Libraries, published in Summer of 2004. To see A Communications Handbook for Libraries in full, please visit: http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/availablepiomat/online_comm_handbook.pdf.

  • Montana State Library
  • P.O. Box 201800, 1515 East 6th Avenue
  • Helena, MT 59620-1800
  • Phone: (406) 444-3115
  • Fax: (406) 444-0266
  • msl.mt.gov