The humble press release

Through thick and thin there has been a rock in public relations. It has survived the rise of technology and remains the main way of communicating for most organisations. It can take an age to be signed off and the tone of voice really does matters. Journalists receive hundreds of them a day and they have to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Yet the press release remains a key tool in the tool box of anyone working in a press office. It’s structure and shape has remained unaltered and for many it is an official record of any organisations position and activities.

With the rise and rise of twitter and other social networks journalists are finding other means for newsgathering. Blogs are also becoming an important part of the story finding mix. So will the good old press release survive the technology revolution that is happening via the social media world?

The answer is probably yes and no. Much depends on the future of the printed word, online media and smartphone technology; and the long lead in times for magazines where releases can help fill the content for news pages and listings. The press release is a good way, if straight to the point and not too long, of getting your story out there. But this already needs to be backed up by online and social media support.

For those working in media relations the press release is our comfort blanket. Something that has always been with us and despite the travails of constructing them a tool we know and love. It will probably survive but perhaps in a different form and blogs linked to twitter feeds and email lists might takes it place.


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