Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Death of the Press Release

If there's one thing that reporters always say it's that they're busy. They're constantly under deadline and their phones are ringing off the hook. They don't have time to read lengthy pitches. The key is to keep it short, sweet and to the point. 

The age of social media in which we've found ourselves has changed the art of pitching even more. Instead of emails, reporters are looking to their Twitter timelines for information and potential stories.  How can press releases possibly compete with 140 character pitches? They probably can't.


Okay, so maybe that's a little extreme.  However, I think that there is something to say about the effectiveness of press releases.  PR professionals might be too quick to resort to the traditional press release in times where a simple pitch email with no attachment or a quick tweet (120 characters to leave room for response) might do just as well.

We all know how frustrating it is for a reporter to disregard a carefully thought out pitch and release, and I think it would be more beneficial to simply send the pitch and not attach the press release.  If they want details, they'll reach out.  The email size will be smaller without the attachment so maybe they'll be more likely to open it! I'm not afraid to admit this might be too simplistic of a media relations viewpoint.

What are your thoughts? Is the press release here to stay or will it soon go the way of snail mail?



2 comments:

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Niki Ianni said...

London - interesting post and perspective! I can definitely see how you might find the press release becoming closer to extinct.

However, from my experience pitching the media, a short, simple pitch, followed by a concise press release (in the body of the email... NEVER send an attachment to a reporter unless you've already had initial contact with him/her... attachments usually get deleted or sent to spam filters) is by far the most effective way to get coverage.

As you note, reporters are busier and busier. Press releases are actually incredibly helpful tools for reporters who would like to cover your story, but do not have much time to put something together. With a well-written press release, reporters are able to build off of your language and get a story put together in a shorter period of time.

However, pitches still remain the most vital part of media relations. Before they read the press release you have to grab their attention as quickly and concisely as possible!

Thanks for your perspective!

Niki