The other day I came across an article about why press releases are effective communication tools. I was particularly struck by the story because in this day and age of brevity everything the guest author wrote I agreed with regarding press releases.
Fact is: reporters, bloggers and producers use press releases to craft their stories. When written properly, press releases contain the who, what, where, when and how of the story. For instance, leading up to the grand opening of a new store, a press release can and should be written to convey the excitement the business has about welcoming the community in along with details about the owners/management team. The press release should be written in a way that conveys timeliness and proximity with a news hook that reinforces an emotional appeal that could convince a reporter to do a story.
Press releases are an important part in the publicity process. They are a support tool, but are not the answer to getting press coverage. Simply sending out a press release will not get you the result you want.
Your best results come from pitching the press with persistence and an emotional draw a hook that convinces the media to cover the story you are pitching. There is a whole art to pitching the press, but that's not what this blog post is about.
The proliferation of social media has shortened many of our attention spans to write and read press releases. Reporters aren't excluded from this. Very rarely will they read press releases sent to them out of the blue. They don't have the time to read press releases amid all the other research, interviewing and writing they are doing.
However, once you've convinced them to do the story the press release becomes their best friend and a crucial part of their information gathering.
Additionally, in some cases news organizations can use press releases as straight content for their papers and websites. Typically it is smaller market press that from time to time choose to run press releases as submitted to them.
Press releases become most effective for significant news announcements such as the launch of new divisions, new locations, new hires, grand openings, partnerships, franchise development, and charitable contributions. They can also be used in unfortunate times of business crises as a critical communication tool. Crisis communications plans always should have a press release component to keep the press accurately informed.
Keep in mind there are other communication tools that work, but when called for, press releases serve an important purpose. Encourage your PR firm to write press releases. If you should need help in this effort, All Points Public Relations welcomes the opportunity to show you how we can achieve your publicity goals.