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.
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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.
Scrolling through Facebook while I was on holiday last week, I came across a post by a member of the media berating another ‘rubbish PR’ who wasn’t doing their job and apparently deserved a public flogging.
In the digital age, the fundamentals of traditional PR are just as important as they always were, and professionals who have and hold on to them will always possess a competitive advantage.
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