Is the press release dead?
The way we communicate is constantly changing, with much greater focus on digital and social media. This trend is one of the reasons some media experts, including journalist and technology commentator, Mike Butcher have pronounced that the press release is dead.
Busy journalists certainly need to get to the nub of a story quickly, but it’s still the case that most of them want to see something in writing before deciding whether to cover the news. Having key facts in the form of a press release helps journalists to produce a strong, factually correct story, which is even more important in the era of fake news.
When pitching your news to a journalist, Mike Butcher was right to highlight the importance of “Putting it into an easy to digest format, so that the journalist can make a quick decision about whether to start talking to you or not.”
It’s important that press releases are written simply and clearly, with a clear, catchy headline and content that tells the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ of the story. This will help a journalist understand why it is relevant. No one has time to read multiple paragraphs that are difficult to decipher. Marketing speak should be avoided as should long words, sentences and phrases. Turning sometimes dry, technical information into engaging, newsworthy copy is a difficult skill to master, which is where a PR specialist can help.
Content from press releases can also be adapted for use on social media platforms and adding it to your website is an important way to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO). News on your website also helps online visitors to learn more about you and conveys that you are a dynamic company, where exciting things happen. The fact that press releases are still widely used by global giants such as Microsoft is a sign that it still has a lot of value in the modern age.
There are a huge number of channels and technologies at your fingertips, but it’s important to find the ones that will help you reach customers, prospects and internal audiences in the best way. We think there is still a place for a well-written press release to help tell your story.