press release is certainly not dead as some PR people may have you
believe. Yes, it’s been loaded up with jargon. Weighed down with
buzzwords. Scrubbed clean of any meaningful executive quotes. But, in
spite of it all, the press release can provide more value and is read by
more people than ever before.
You may have heard about this ongoing debate in the PR community.
It centers on the usefulness of the press release in its current
state and whether a new tool is needed to better harness social and other
emerging media. Some PR professionals believe the Social Media Press
Release (SMPR) is the logical update to the existing press release. A SMPR
does away with the need to write clearly and concisely in a news article
format. It deconstructs and separates press release copy into its core
components plus adds sections for rss feeds, podcasts, photos, graphics,
videos, and other media and linking tools.
Some people even go farther and argue that changing the format of
the press release is not enough. They believe the entire concept should be
thrown out, and some even talk about overturning the existing media
paradigm. Heady stuff indeed!
all the theoretical debate about the future of the press release it’s
sometimes overlooked that PR professionals’ first priority must be
delivering results for their clients. Today, the reality of b2b and b2g PR
is that clients aren't that interested in being on the bleeding edge of
innovation. They want PR counsel, strategy and execution that connect
clearly to their business objectives. They care about using the most
effective PR methods and the press release is still the most efficient,
far reaching, and versatile platform to deliver messages to both the media
and the public at large.
more people are using press releases to find the information they need to
do their jobs -- and not just journalists. According to a report
last year by research firm OutSell, press releases have surpassed trade
journals as the leading source of information for knowledge workers. In
the same way journalists have, these workers rely on the press release for
fast access to updates on companies, organizations, and products. The
press release is particularly important to investor relations where
messages and news flow are subject to a higher level of scrutiny and
governed by strict regulations. These
full disclosure regulations regulate how public information put out by
public companies must be distributed and the reach of the traditional
press release distribution companies make them the logical choice to
releases have other important advantages for clients as well. Because they
are presented as a coherent news story, they can help tell the evolving
story of a company’s business momentum in a way that the piecemeal SMPR
template can’t. This is especially true when releases are posted on a
corporate website news room or used as printed collateral where they are
ideal for supporting sales, marketing, and employee recruiting. The
cut-and-paste ethos of the SMPR simply doesn’t lend itself to this type
course, PR agencies, as do all businesses, need to stay current on the
latest technology trends and can work to eliminate many of the most common
complaints about press releases. There is certainly a place for blog and
social media strategy in an integrated public relations campaign. RSS
feeds and tools such as Digg and Del.icio.us make sense and increase the
effective reach of a message. Increasingly, these features as well as
links to video and podcasts are being integrated into the press release
with great results. Press releases can also be greatly strengthened by
understanding your audience and their information needs. No matter who is
reading them, it’s wise to provide relevant industry context while
eliminating technical jargon and empty marketing slogans.
the bottom line is that the press release is alive and well and will be
for a long time to come. It’s an extremely efficient, multipurpose tool
that can support the business objectives of clients in many different
ways. Is that as sexy or as trendy as talking about toppling the existing
media paradigm? Definitely not, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Parente is a Managing Director at Strategic
a nationally recognized, award-winning public relations and business
development firm based in Silver Spring, MD and Tysons Corner, VA.
Strategic Communications Group recently announced a partnership
with Infoition, a leading
provider of customized media intelligence.
Articles | Submit
Your Article | PR
Public Relations Homepage