The Press Release is NOT Dead. Two Key Reasons Why.

are-press-releases-deadSomeone asked me a few days ago what I thought of this Hubspot piece titled, “Is It Finally Time to Bid Adieu to the Press Release?,”, http://blog.hubspot.com/bid-adieu-press-release-oe
My answer was a massive eye-roll and an emphatic, “Shite.”  The article, by Dan Lyons, is actually fairly well-balanced, if you read it all the way through after the gratuitous headline. However, from my perspective, people have been discussing this for over a decade, but the reality is: A. Most exec teams at a company need a structure and forced exercise of prioritization to communicate well, and for real news, this format is still powerful. B. I have RARELY had an editor interested in a pitch who did not want more facts or a briefing materials before meeting my client or writing their own story. C. What needs to die are the following: Crappy press releases with no news value, and PR pitches to the wrong editors. See my blog post on that subject: http://vibrancepr.com/news-releases-are-not-magic-potions-are-you-overusing-them

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News Releases are Not Magic Potions. Are You Overusing Them?

A news release is not a magic potion for media coverage. image credit: iStock/Jason_V

A news release is not a magic potion for media coverage. image credit: iStock/Jason_V

News releases are not magic potions to cure media coverage ills, and they don’t work alone. Are you guilty of pumping out, “not really news” news releases on inexpensive wire services in hopes of improving your coverage or SEO? Sometimes there is a decent rationale, but please, please, be sure the traffic you get for doing that converts enough that it makes up for the cost, time and possible reputation hit to create and distribute that release.

If it is a truly drab release which everyone in your company knows is a turd, and a credible journalist does a Google search on you and finds that, you don’t get a second chance to leave a first impression. Is there a better vehicle for your message?

Also, be clear about what happens with news releases. Just writing one and putting it over a wire is almost useless to you. You must be pitching pertinent editors and bloggers in your space on the content of that news, and doing it well before you have the release hit the wire.  When you think of pitching that iffy news release to an editor, if you feel content shame–that may tell you this is better as a customer newsletter or a blog post!

Finally, does every release NEED a wire service?  If it is pretty “inside-industry,” maybe not. Maybe putting it on your own site and pitching it to your industry editors is enough.

What are your decision trees regarding news releases, when to write, how to pitch, and what service to use? Let’s discuss!