Debunking the myth that the press release is no longer effective.Many public relations professionals would agree that the press release is one of PR’s oldest tools. But don’t mistake old for irrelevant. Much like an older member of your family, the press release encompasses structure, purpose and value. Check out the following four modern uses of the press release, that you and your marketing team need to know:
1. Messaging Control
In a day and age where messages can be easily skewed and manipulated, press releases are a prime resource for allowing your teams to have control over the newsworthy message and how your story is told. Releases can house all the key points you want included in media coverage, while also being a central tool for gaining messaging consensus among all key internal stakeholders.
2. Enhancing Credibility
In the age of fake news, many reporters are looking for an extra verification step to make sure what is being shared with them is accurate. This is where an official press release can provide that reassurance. Aligning with messaging control, this tool will give reporters and stakeholders the guarantee they need to validate the information they have received is accurate.
If you’re a fan of Facebook’s “On This Day” reminders, you’ll love press releases. Why? Because, while gaining coverage from timely campaigns is important, documenting these releases in your website newsroom not only serves as an update to milestones and what your brand is currently doing, but will also serve as a validation time capsule for visitors to look back on in the future. Then, years down the road, I bet you’ll catch yourself scrolling through your newsroom and find yourself gaining a sense of accomplishment by seeing the progress your organization has made along the years.
4. Validating Partners
Press releases are an easy resource to validate partners your company is working with and vice versa. For example, if you have a partner noted in your press release, it would serve you well to link to their website so media can validate and learn more about the collaboration. In turn, partners should do the same for you in a campaign announcement, to cross promotion, so it enhances both of your overall end goals.
Beyond partners, press releases can house additional background and links media can check out and include in their stories. This may include past product launches that are incorporated into the latest announcement, quotes from customers validating your products, links to social media channels where more information will be shared and much more.
So, while the press release has been around longer than fax machines, it’s still a relevant and purposeful tool. As communication channels and the public relations professional continues to evolve – so will the press release. While once sent via snail mail and later through fax, press releases are now social and mobile friendly and shared alongside creative distribution techniques. From stuffed balloons media kit mailers to digital social media infographics, media are still in the business of being “wow’ed” by the next big, new and exciting idea, showing off a company and/or campaign theme.