Fortune Favors The Press Release

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , , |

Press release announcing U.S. de jure recognit...

Press release announcing U.S. de jure recognition of the state of Israel, 01/31/1949 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Embattled writers of press releases, rejoice.

Much-maligned as a tool of yesteryear’s PR pro, the press release has a significance that may well earn it a second life in today’s digital world. So argues Sarah Skerik, vice president of social media for PR Newswire.

And I agree with her.

Skerik admittedly has a vested interest in ensuring the viability of the press release. For that matter, so do I. They’re part of my stock in trade.

That said, there’s much to be said for the continued survival of the press release — and thank God the profession has reverted to calling a press release a press release, versus the neutered, politically-corrected “media release” that came into being as a means of curtsying up to broadcast industry types.

Say “press release” and people know exactly what you’re referring to. A “media release,” however — it’s just not so redolent with meaning. A bit abstract, and in this age of direct communications, there’s no percentage to being abstract.

Skerik points out the value of using the press release as a means of promoting blog postings. Good thought. Not every blog posting is press release-worthy, but those that are laden with news and thoughtful analysis can certainly merit a bit of self-promotion. It’s a way of making sure that the tree that falls in the vast digital forest is heard.

Certainly Skerik is hopeful of drumming up more press release distribution business for her employer, the venerable PR Newswire. And why not? But with all the wonderful distribution options available today via the Internet — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and so on ad infinitum — along with whatever proprietary email distribution lists a company or non-profit organization might have available — there’s no reason to just toss out a newsworthy blog post and hope that the world discovers it.

A well-written press release, customized for digital distribution, can call attention to a blog post that otherwise may languish in a limbo of obscurity.

No, the press release is still alive and kicking and more useful than ever. It’s an action-oriented communications device, and one that no longer is simply for whetting the interest of the media gate-keepers.

Today, a press release can be issued to directly reach a target audience — via any number of distribution channels. Yep. Long live the press release, still a publicity tool worth betting on.

See what Skerik and PR Newswire have to say about using press releases to promote a blob promote a blog.


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