In our digital society, where people expect access to what they want, when they want it and how they want it, information satisfaction is just a click away. The whole landscape has changed as media consumers are now producers – just ask Janis Krums – who was the first to post pictures of the amazing crash landing of the US Airways flight on the Hudson River. I was just a producer about 10 minutes ago when I uploaded some photos on to my Facebook page. So, with all of this information that is on this crazy world wide web, have press releases gone the way of 8-track?
When I was a PR director, I sent out a lot of press releases – some were interesting, most were boring and all probably went the way of the circular file when they hit the reporters desk. If I had a great story, something nice and juicy, instead of sending out a press release, I’d put in a call to my favorite beat reporter for an exclusive, above the fold preferably. But that was seven years ago, when deadlines weren’t real time and employees couldn’t scoop me on their blog.
So why do companies still write press releases? Shel had some good insights on this topic. One compelling reason is to improve your SEO. Post a press release on your website, send it out on PR Web, and you’re adding to your SEO efforts, quickly and easily. Well quickly and easily if you don’t have to run the presser past legal.
Another great point was that the press release doesn’t live in a vacuum. So the next time you’re sending out a press release to announce a special event your company is hosting, add it to your Facebook page, Tweet about it, blog about it and after the event, post a YouTube video highlighting the great time everyone had! Social media content is great but it’s like a teenage boy, it needs to be constantly fed. Just don’t make the mistake that you can simply cut and paste the content of your release onto Facebook. Just like all good communications professionals learned, even before the Internet, the message must still be appropriate to the vehicle.
So what’s the moral of this obit? Today, the most effective communications efforts are combining traditional media with social media. It’s about creating conversations and engaging your consumers, not creating great press releases or cool blogs. So long live the press release!
-Post written by Kristina Klopp