Here at Alice PR, we’re joining the debate on if that stalwart of media relations, the press release, is still relevant in the age of social media when we receive news as it happen and often, directly from the source.
In recent weeks, we’ve been looking at how to achieve winning photocalls, and keeping up with the best apps that make our jobs a bit easier but when we strip it all back, the story is at the core of what we do. But is the way that we tell that story changing and is the press release still as relevant as it used to be? We think so.
At Alice PR we are very aware that spamming journalists with irrelevant press releases is not the way to go. We have established fantastic contact lists and have built up great relationships with journalists and respect the work that they do. We also know what will interest them and what won’t.
If a release is well-written, has a legitimate news angle and is sent to journalists who cover the topics the release is focused on, then it definitely has value.
One interesting thing we have noticed from our work with The Honey Partnership (our partner agency headquartered in London, but working worldwide) is that they rarely use press releases to target UK media in the way we use them here. In Ireland, we benefit from our small population – it makes engaging with journalists (using both press releases and other tools) more manageable and more personable. We will quite often know or have met the journalists we’re sending releases to. This really isn’t the case in London, for example. For some projects we’ve collaborated with Honey on, they’ll use Twitter and short videos on social to grab the attention of target media – rather than a traditional press release.
Make it easy
Well-written press releases contain all of the information that a journalist will need to cover the story, and sometimes the journalist doesn’t have to do too much tweaking or digging to get it to print. The press release can also be re-worked and used across a client’s website, on blogs, across social media, shared with important stakeholders and the client can confidently tell / sell their story, equipped with all the facts and details.
What’s the story?
Press releases are hugely important for the PR company drafting them because it enables us to tease out all the messages and information from the client. Often during this process, we find out other elements to the story that the client might not have realised were relevant or even of interest to the press. It allows us to get to know the story inside out – we’re asking all the questions that a journalist might ask too so it gives the client an opportunity to think about the broader picture well in advance.
A well-written press release gives credibility to the agency issuing it and indicates that you understand and appreciate the job of a journalist. When you draft a well executed press release, the time and attention that went into it will be recognised and the company will become known as a trusted and professional source of reliable and well crafted stories.
At Alice PR, we think that despite all of the other news sources and advances in technology the press release is still very much alive. It is the most effective way to get our clients‘ news stories in front of journalists – which is proven by the amount of coverage we receive for them.