Israel: 054-321-6176 / USA - 210-820-3070 alan@weinkrantz.com

Tech PR: Why Press Releases Still Matter. And Why Press Releases Should Still Be Part of Your Communications Strategy.

Whenever I talk about doing traditional press releases, I generally get a blank stare or a look of disbelief.  

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Typical Responses I get to the notion of press releases and heaven forbid, using a Wire Service like BusinessWire, which has the best pricing (note I did not say they were “cheaper”), the best reach, and the best service.

“Who reads news releases?”

“No one is going to just pick up a news release.”

“Why can’t we just announce what we have to say on the social web and count on others to spread the word?”

“Our fans on Twitter will Tweet this thing up.”

“OMG- news releases are so…. Web 1.0”

Here’s my belief:  when appropriate, news releases matter, have impact, and yup, they actually work.  They are not a substitute for the social web. They are a part of your overall communications strategy.

If you are publicly traded, then it’s a no-brainer that you have to have traditional news releases for disclosure and compliance issues.  And if you are not, I still believe that select, strategic news merits the time and minor expense, of a news news release.

Here’s why:

1.  Writing a news release is a more formal process, and makes you really think through what you are saying — and how you want to reflect the collective written word about your company.

2.  Investors, partners, suppliers, and your other publics will still mosey on into your press room to see what’s news, how you report your news, and the wording and editorial strategy you take.  

3.  The written word is very much a part of your overall brand experience.  How you write, the tone and choice of words is very much akin to the graphical image you project, the company culture you promote and the quality of customer service you aim for.

4.  News releases, if applied correctly, can be searched (and found) on Google.  They are also a platform which can easily be re-published and spread by your stakeholders on the social web.

5.  A well written and well crafted news release illustrates team work and common vision.  

There is more to a news release than just the mechanics of writing and pitching. 

Oh, and speaking of pitching, yes, I still do very traditional pitching.  And that’s a whole other post in its own right.

 

4 Comments

  1. All your reasons for writing press releases are right on the mark. Here’s another:Press releases are one of the very best ways to sidestep traditional media. In the old days, we had to worry about writing the perfect press release, sending it, and kissing the ring of a reporter or editor in hopes they’d cover our story.No more. We can reach consumers directly. The really big media stories seldom come from press releases. They come from targeted, well-crafted pitches. And as you said, that’s another story for another day. P.S. I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years and accepted and rejected thousands of press releases and pitches.

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  2. Excellent post, Alan. And I completely agree. We do it all the time.Shelly@shellykramer

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  3. The “traditional” press release is still very relavent – the means of distribution are what has changed the game.A press release allows a company to articulate exactly what they are announcing, hopefully in the most concise and compelling way. Sending over a release with a pitch is still how most PR works and will for a while.Utilizing the social web is part of your strategy and not something you should rely on unless you really have klout or some type of influence – otherwise you are just adding to the clutter. A tweet or facebook post should link to your press release for more information.

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  4. That’s funny, I was just thinking about this very topic this morning. I don’t use press releases that often, but I think they are entirely appropriate when a company either public or private needs to communicate a ‘material’ event – one that has had a significant impact on the business value that many different groups of stakeholders need to know. Like a very large contract win, change of executive or new technology innovation. What really doesn’t work is when every piece of anecdotal or ‘niche’ story is turned into a press release because then you squander the opportunity to pitch a tailored story. I think the debate about social media being the replacement for traditional press releases is flawed. The replacement for a press release is a tailored approach to an individual influencer. The medium is just the medium and social media releases can be just as inappropriate as traditional ones.

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