When most people think of PR, they think of the trusty press release and media coverage. However, over the last decade, PR has evolved greatly. It no longer refers solely to the press release but rather a plethora of services.
The idea that the press release is dead is not a recent idea. It has been debated in depth over the last decade – most notably, Alex Aitken, Executive Director for Government Comms, made the declaration back in 2013. More recently, it was debated again at a #PRCATech event last month, where one journalist declared “the press release is very much dead” much to the horror of the other panel members who, only moments before, were arguing it still has worth.
Personally, I believe the press release is like PDA - there’s a time and a place. It still has a very prominent place in public and media relations however like PDA, it should be used with caution and only in certain environments. It’s about knowing the audience and how they will react. I can name a handful of journalists that, if I send a relevant (relevant being the key word) press release to, they will print it in all the glory it arrived in their inbox in. At the same time, I can think of just as many who would relegate me to their Junk folder for sending over a press release without offering up a briefing or comment instead.
One of the differences between a good PR consultancy and a great PR consultancy is the team’s knowledge of the media landscape, i.e. knowing exactly how the journalists you’re targeting wish to be approached. Some journalists like press releases, some briefings and others prefer exclusives. However, giving the journalist the option to tell you how they want to receive the news is crucial. After all, communication is an essential public relations skill.
With the number of people digesting news via video and pictures increasing, PRs are able to be more creative than ever before. That’s not to say the press release is dead; it still very much has a place. You just need to know where that place is.
For a list of our top ten journalists for B2B marketers - click below.