So the press release isn’t dying after all!
Now said to be 110 years old, the traditional cornerstone of PR is very much alive and kicking.
According to a recent survey of media professionals in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, the press release is still the most trusted news sources among journalists.
Apparently, they don’t trust Facebook, Twitter or blogs half as much as a means of checking facts or verifying information.
While 22% use press releases as a source to write their own stories or check facts, only 10% use company social media accounts; 21% use corporate communications people and 19% go to official websites.
Young people entering the PR business should take note, and place as much emphasis on learning how to write effective press releases as they do on how to make a presentation or produce a strategy.
A press release has to be of value and interest to the media, and that means to their audience.
There are three key steps to producing a news release that hits the mark: think, write, edit.
Think about the best story line in advance, write the release to make sure the main news element is right up front, then put on your editor’s hat to polish and make it perfect.
History says that the press release was born in 1906 after a train wreck in Atlantic City, New Jersey left more than 50 people dead.
It’s said that the New York Times was so impressed that the newspaper printed the release issued by the railroad word for word.
Times have changed, but as the recent survey shows, the press release is still a key way of communicating to large audiences via the media.
As social media marketers, we recognise how important it is to take a step back and remind ourselves of the basics. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest technologies and innovations, losing sight of the fundamentals in the process.
My one and only boss in PR was in good form when he spoke at a party marking a milestone for the agency I worked for prior to starting my own.
Almost half of the world’s population is now on online. That’s approximately four billion people. Creating content to reach online audiences is what matters to businesses and what keeps our digital team well and truly on our toes.
Putting all millennials into one basket for the benefit of marketing is a bit like saying all defenders at the World Cup perform as if they were coached in Panama.
Well, not quite, but you know what I mean.
There are reasons why some observers say that the traditional press release is already dead.
The main one is that the press release is seen as a relic of days before the digital age swept over us like a tsunami.
There’s a great buzz in the United Arab Emirates following the news that the country is opening its market for foreign direct investment and talent.
We’re excited too by the opportunity to play our part in attracting international investors, and benefiting in real business terms.
One of the main problems we’ve always had in the Public Relations business is that not enough people understand what PR is.
There are various reasons for that, among them the fact that PR people have difficulty in explaining what they do for a living.
Many of our journalist friends say they live in constant fear of the threat to their livelihoods posed by social media.
It's understandable, as social networks have effectively removed the traditional media's monopoly as our main news source.
It's wake-up time for PR in the Middle East, and 2018 should be the year when agencies take more control over issues impacting their business.
Top of the agenda is the prickly questions of social media influencers, whose growing presence continues to split opinions.
PR agencies hate it when they’re asked to enter a pitch and find out after submitting a proposal that they were just making up the numbers.
It happens a lot, especially if you’ve been in business more than 26 years, as we have.