With the emergence of social media, the transformation taking place in many newsrooms and new mediums of communication sprouting up, it seems as though many people are asking, and debating—is the press release dead? It started with PR overall—and pundits declaring it was headed the way of the typewriter, soon to be replaced by other, more sexy forms of marketing—the “Tweet” (according to AdAge , Web 2.0, Social Media… Still, a year later, here we are with Apple, clinging to the advice of its PR agency, given recent updates with Steve Jobs; the White House announcing Jay Carney as its new press secretary, and BP still trying to clean up its image, proving that the need for PR is very much alive.
Wax Marketing recently posted an interesting commentary, “The Press Release is Not Dead” that got me thinking, rather, uttering (to myself, but in theory to the pundits declaring the press release’s death), “Hey, wait a minute. How dare you even make such an assertion!”
The press release is not dead, not even a little bit, and let me add to Wax Marketing’s post on why…
1. Media continue to want, and even specifically ASK, “Send me the press release.” The press release is the approved copy, the company’s “statement,” especially on, but certainly not limited to, important announcements surrounding business transactions and legal issues. Media want that perspective, at least as a place to start.
2. Some media even continue to run the entire press release. With newsrooms understaffed, a well-written press release is often run as is or with very little editing to get the information out.
3. There are many ways to pitch a story or an idea and the press release is sometimes, thought not always, the best way to do it. Each situation is different, but when you need to convey basic facts about an emerging situation, the press release is your go-to tool.
4. Press releases are necessary for partners making a joint announcement to convey the information in a concerted effort, through a single vehicle. Sure, you can hold a press conference, but not every announcement warrants one. And you still need a press release or media alert to get media there in the first place.
Just as people have questioned in the past, is PR dead?, the answer to questions about the “flailing press release” is a profound no. In fact it is just as important as ever. Bad press releases, blanket PR pitches and blasts—well that is a different story. Those were dead a long time ago.