Ahhh … the great PR debate: Is the press release dead?
Some say yes — especially folks in the tech industry who have found better ways to get editors’ attention through videos, product demos and blog posts.
There’s merit to their position, for sure. Personally, I don’t think the release is dead yet (maybe on life support), but I do think the way it is used has completely changed. A press release should be a tool that gives background information and makes it really easy for a reporter to grasp the who-what-when-where-why. It should be included in your pitch as a resource — but it should not BE your pitch. And it should be brief. Remember who your audience is. I mean, it is called a press release, after all.
Before you spend time drafting a release (or money getting someone else to), ask yourself:
Does my company need to make a formal announcement? (i.e.; is your company publicly held, is it a healthcare organization announcing medical guidelines, etc.)
Is what I’m announcing REALLY newsworthy to people outside my organization? Will they care? Be honest.
If the answer to either of the above is “no,” then you may want to reconsider your strategy. Maybe your news is a targeted pitch to a single media outlet. Or maybe you create a great piece of content to share on your social media platforms and through your owned channels (internal communications, company website, customer emails). Maybe you even pay to boost that content … whaat?!
I’ll cover some tips for creating a great media pitch in a future post, but in the meantime, if you do need to write a press release, check out my “Anatomy of a Press Release” for pointers on how to draft a more effective release. If you fill out the information below, I’ll send you the link to download the goods.