For decades, technology has shaped and reshaped the way we do business. Once ubiquitous business tools like typewriters, telephone switchboards, pink out-of-office notes, and pagers have all gone the way of the dodo. Printed product catalogs, cash, fax machines, and snail-mail are becoming less relevant every day, and some businesses are even phasing out email in favor of instant messaging platforms. So why on earth would an old-school tool of the trade like a press release still be relevant in the 2020s?
The press release made its debut more than a century ago in 1906 and revolutionized the news industry. Today, they’re often called “news releases” to be more inclusive of electronic and digital media. While technology has changed the way news releases are written and distributed, they remain just as relevant and effective today as they were in the early 1900s.
There are a number of reasons why your marketing plan still needs to include outstanding press releases:
People still count on local news
Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they follow local news at least somewhat closely, which means getting your news to television and radio stations, newspapers, and local websites is the most cost-effective way to tell your story. A well-written press release won’t just get coverage on the nightly news or in the morning paper—It’ll also get posted on those media outlets’ websites and social media accounts, tripling the odds of customers or clients finding out about your news!
Newsrooms are short-staffed
Next time you pick up a newspaper, count the number of actual reporters’ names you see. I’m betting It will be a lot fewer than you expect. According to Pew Research Center, newsroom employment in the US dropped by 23% between 2008 and 2019. Yet newspapers and television stations are still cranking out content, often depending more and more on material provided by wire services, affiliates, and other pre-packaged ingredients like news releases. A well-written press release has much better odds of publication simply because there may not be enough reporters on staff to fill a newspaper or a half-hour newscast.
Reporters aren’t psychic
I can’t count the number of times people have said to me “We held a great ribbon-cutting/groundbreaking/fundraiser last week, but we didn’t have any reporters there.” I always follow up by asking “Did you tell them about it?” More often than not, the answer is no.
If you’re hoping for media coverage, it’s not enough to post your event or news on community calendars and your social media and hope that reporters or editors see it. Sending a news release is the best way to ensure someone in the newsroom is aware of your bulletin.
You want to establish the narrative
Remember that first press release back in 1906? Ivy Lee, a publicist for the Pennsylvania Railroad, wrote it after a tragic wreck killed 50 passengers. Lee wanted to make sure the facts were presented correctly, so he distributed a document to reporters documenting the event. The New York Times printed the text verbatim.
By sending a press release, you ensure that the parts of the story you believe are important receive attention, and you’re also able to anticipate potential issues and address them in advance. In doing so, you can get a jump start on competitors or detractors, help establish the tone of potential news coverage, and even reinforce your brand messaging by including it in the news release.
Developing content and improving SEO
In 2021, a press release is more than just a document you send to local media. It’s also valuable content about your brand that you can share across a variety of platforms. By posting your news release in your website’s newsroom, linking to it on your social media, and including it in your digital newsletter, you’re creating valuable links to your content across the web. These links will work to optimize your presence in online searches and make your company, organization, or brand more digitally relevant.
Do you need a team in your corner to help write relevant press releases and get you noticed? The experts at CONRIC pr + marketing are ready to craft a press release to ensure your audience and the media know about your news. For a free consultation, give us a call today at 239-690-9840 ext. 1001, email us at email@example.com, or click this link for our convenient contact form.