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The Press Release Is Dead – Long Live the News Release!



The Press Release Is Dead – Long Live the News Release!

Jason Kintzler, founder/CEO at PitchEngine, makes a valid point in his June 23 blog “The ‘Magic’ Behind PR Wire and Web Distribution Revisited.” He’s absolutely right when he says “the stuff people care about comes in the form of photos, quotes and other bite-sized morsels that are authentic, not contrived.” We agree. The traditional press is no longer effective in the sense of “I’m going to write something using the AP Style Guide, and I’m going to distribute it to a tight group of people with the intent that they’re going to write about it.”

But by citing an example of a release posted on an online site, Mr. Kintzler solely focuses on media distribution – and that’s a one-dimensional view of what today’s multifaceted news release is all about.

In fact, we at Marketwired don’t call it a “press” release any more because an organization’s influencer base is no longer limited to the press. Today’s news release needs to appeal to employees, clients, consumers, investors, partners, prospects, and of course, brand influencers – some are members of the media, but many are not.

It’s all about the “who” and the “how” of content consumption. That’s why it is so important to be impactful. The process of sending a press release to a limited group of people and hoping they write about it is history. Now, a news release impacts and influences all these different constituencies across several channels.

The news release has evolved from the press release with several important differences:

  • How it is written
  • How it is packaged
  • How it is distributed
  • Who it targets
  • How it is shared
  • How it is measured

The news release, in terms of how you can package it – incorporating social media, multimedia, links, a roadmap to other resources – and engage people for a 360-degree view, is a dynamic and useful marketing tool. Performance reports can uncover a wealth of market intelligence such as who are the most important social influencers and what people are saying about a brand or industry.

When issuing a release, we ask our customers what they’re trying to accomplish. Spray and pray has always been a tactic, and that’s how the Old World Wire worked. But today communications professionals must be more strategic when sharing their news. Part of that strategy is finding who the top targets are and paying attention to them. News needs to be placed where the relevant people are likely to find it – such as blogs, Twitter/social channels, and corporate newsrooms – not by spamming thousands of inboxes.

There is so much noise and information in circulation today, but the problem isn’t information overload: it’s filter failure.

No longer can public relations professionals rely on an old-school approach of mass distribution to rise above the noise. They need a social communications partner who can lend the intelligence to a news release that helps them research and identify influencers, optimize releases with audiences in mind, and distribute them across multiple platforms. It’s not about the news release – it’s about getting the right content to the right people in the right place at the right time.


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