- Successful press releases are those that can grab a journalist’s attention. These are often crisp, concise, simple, and are accompanied by an eye-catching headline. Good press releases are newsworthy and help to inform an idea. But sometimes, they are not the right medium to communicate with the target audience, in this case, the journalists. In other words, not everything needs a press release.
We live in an age where we see the overuse of press releases every day. Sometimes, the news you many think is worthy enough to be shared isn’t news at all! Every press release is an investment of someone’s time and research. PR professionals should have the capability to choose as to which news is worthy enough. Hence, it is important to check the ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ of using one.
According to a survey conducted by Muck Rack, 53% U.S based journalists do not reply on press releases at all, and 3% journalists worldwide reported that they rely upon them from a newswire 1 . The relationship between a PR person and the journalist is a hard-earned relationship based on trust. An overload of press releases leads to an impaired relationship between the two. PR professionals should not be labeled as ‘spammers’, and overuse of press release does exactly that.
So when do we write a press release? First, when there is a new product launch. This can also include products that are an industry’s first. Second, the appointment of a new member in the executive council, such as the CEO and COO. Third, an announcement regarding mergers, partnerships, and acquisitions. Fourth, when the brand has received awards or accolades. Fifth, any strategic announcement including a crisis. Indeed, these announcements can build brand recognition and enhance the overall credibility of the brand.
So what are the alternatives of a press release? Social Media can be treated as a substitute. Sometimes, a blog post is sufficient. At other times, the brand can communicate with the target audience directly rather than using press releases to do the same. Third, pitching the ideas directly with the journalists can also be considered in addition to developing relationships with journalists. Using press releases also restricts a PR firm’s ability to utilize other PR tools. Thus, ‘not’ using the press release for everything can induce creative juices among the PR professionals!
In conclusion, press releases are valuable and tested tools. But, as mentioned, they should be newsworthy and should have something meaningful to say. They can be best used to generate earned media. However, these releases should be strategically planned out. As a PR professional, it is important to know when a press release will benefit your strategy and when another PR tool should be used.
Related post- https://scoreindia.org/blog/book-review-the-…-and-craft-of-pr/
Dikshita is a part of the Class of 2020 of PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe, Mumbai. Hailing from Golaghat, Assam the idea of communication has always intrigued her. After her education in International Studies, she chose to pursue Public Relations. She is a team player and an active learner.