“Is the press release dead?”
I hear this question all too often, and while I’m not ready to completely give up on press releases, I have to admit that the traditional press release doesn’t hold the weight it once did.
Newsrooms used to spin entire stories out of a single press release. Today, however, editors shy away from “self-generated news,” preferring to direct their limited resources toward harder-hitting stories.
At Goodwin Consulting, press releases still have a place in every client’s communications strategy. What has changed is how we prepare, distribute, and leverage them.
Here’s how our PR firm puts press releases to work in the digital era.
Press Releases, Reinvented
Few news media outlets maintain a press release department, and many no longer accept press releases at all. To circumvent these challenges, you need to think bigger than the press release and consider the publisher’s needs.
When we submit press releases, they’re part of a larger submission that offers the publication multiple opportunities to interact with our client’s news. First, we write a pitch that highlights the major talking points. Then, if our client has an upcoming event, we’ll issue a media advisory, inviting in-person coverage. Other useful elements in the packet include:
- Pull quotes
As long as an asset provides value to the media outlet and enhances the news we’re promoting, it’s a good fit for the press release packet.
Refine content for every platform
A press release’s content can be tailored for various platforms. What doesn’t fit a traditional news format might be perfect for a social media post or a detailed blog entry—content we can create and then supply to various media outlets for distribution.
Does all this proactive content creation require additional work? Of course, it does. But the work is worthwhile when it results in publicity we couldn’t have otherwise secured for our client. Many local news stations have aired video content supplied by the Goodwin team—footage shot on my iPhone because the network couldn’t spare a camera crew!
One key to earning multi-platform publicity is formatting the content for its final purpose. Television footage, for example, should be filmed horizontally, whereas social media video content works best in a vertical format. Similarly, print publications require high-resolution photographs, whereas lower-resolution images are better for social media, web use, and email.
Repurpose content for increased value
“One piece of news repurposed three different ways,” I tell my team. They quickly transform content snippets from a press release into blog articles, social media posts, or email newsletters.
Many brands assume their news is known, but the reality is that most news never reaches its target audience—that is, not without help. Leverage every opportunity to announce new products and services, growth updates, meaningful metrics, and more. You can showcase your brand’s latest media coverage with a temporary link in your email signature. Trust us: shameless, ongoing promotion is how you’ll get your stories in front of the right audience.
Review content engagement for future strategizing
At Goodwin Consulting, we use subscription software that reveals how our press releases are performing. Which media outlets have opened our submissions, saved our files, or shared our links? Attentive tracking helps us to identify receptive media outlets and pinpoint the most effective strategies for future press releases.
Is the Press Release Dead? Not If You Do It Right!
The press release is still a valuable tool in any PR toolkit; we maximize its effectiveness by incorporating plug-and-play assets that emphasize key talking points, lend visual interest to the message, and eliminate barriers to publication. By taking an agile, creative, strategic, and modern approach to press releases, we ensure your story reaches and resonates with the intended audiences.
Don’t give in to the temptation to dismiss the press release as outdated and useless. Instead, reimagine it as a streamlined solution for distributing valuable insights to a diverse audience of current and prospective customers.
In no time, you’ll see that the press release is far from dead; it’s simply evolving.
Contact us to discuss your press release strategy!