By: Matthew Kaiserman, Junior Account Executive
Let’s take a look back in PR history: The first press release was distributed in 1906 to communicate a train wreck in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Over 100 years have passed and communicators are still dependent on the same antiquated method of sharing news. Press releases still have value in today’s communications climate, but not at the rate at which many agencies and communications teams disseminate them.
Press releases are a great way to share major company news like a new executive hire, a change in headquarters or a major partnership. However, PR professionals must consider these other factors which do not make press releases as attractive:
- They do not prove useful for sharing other types of company news.
- Press releases are also expensive with increasing costs for word counts, including images and certain vertical distribution.
Communicators should look to leverage company news for earned media opportunities with relevant media outlets. In my recent media outreach, I have had great success in sharing new company developments with media outlets directly, rather than through press release wires. It is much more effective to share insights directly to your intended media outlets as opposed to relying on generic press release distribution in ‘hopes’ for pickups from relevant publications.
In my conversations with the media, the most effective ways to share company information and updates are through:
- Byline articles
- Exclusive company insights
- Infographics; and
- Proprietary data.
Journalists are not looking to constantly receive a general press release that they know will also be delivered to hundreds of other publications. By looking beyond the traditional press release, communicators can better reach their intended audiences in more engaging ways. I have built great relationships with the media by offering consistent and accurate content. Because of this, journalists will reach out to get a quick quote or insights on a trending topic from my clients without me having to pitch a story idea. Earned media is cost effective and leads to a better means of communicating your intended message.