Why press releases are still relevant
Companies have used press releases to get media attention for decades. A typical press release will contain for journalists the contact info of the main person behind a given project or event, information about what is happening, and facts. A press release is not an article; it’s one page of information.
Most communications and public relations professionals know what a press release is, but not everyone knows when to use it and how to use it effectively. Writing a press release does not mean media outlets will write a story about it. The important thing for journalists are the questions “is this story in the public interest” and “will this interest our audience.” Blasting press releases out to every media outlet in the area is fine. Still, the chance that they will all be interested is low. It is also essential not to ignore online content creators and blogs in favour of more traditional media outlets. Press releases are still relevant in 2021 because they are such great tools for online content creators.
Press releases are most effective when they get into the hands of journalists and writers who have written about a given release’s topic or niche before. However, if a publication has run a story similar to or the same as a press release they receive, they will ignore it. A press release needs to be newsworthy; they are not tools for advertising an event or a product.
Timing is everything
The majority of press releases are available “for immediate release.” Anyone can write about and share the information in one, with the public, at any time. Events, for example, are significant enough to announce and promote through press releases in advance.
Good news and changes to the status quo are interesting to readers.
Other essential subjects that may warrant a press release include a new program that has been developed or a fresh take on an old problem. This is especially true if the given solution breaks down barriers and can help a unique population with a problem. Awards, grants, and massive donations may also thus warrant a press release– especially if an organization or company received a prize or grant/donation for supporting a worthy cause.
Make it relevant to the audience.
Think about location– a local paper may not run a story about a new tech advancement, but if someone from that city or town created that tech advancement, it is newsworthy. However, a national tech magazine will probably be more interested in the first press release.
Think beyond the traditional media outlets
Press releases are not only for traditional media outlets such as newspapers and radio or tv programs. Blogs, podcasts, and other online creators and platforms should also be included as press-releasers. The scope of media outlets is more significant than it ever has been. While a traditional media outlet may not be interested in a given press release, there are tons of niche blogs, podcasts, newsletters and other online platforms that will be.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of leading PR agency 5WPR.