In the Public Relations industry, there is a constant back and forth on the press release. Is it relevant? Will anyone read it? Does this event/announcement/random happening warrant a press release? My opinion on the matter: it depends. There is a time and a place for a press release and as a budding PR Pro it is my job to navigate this world for clients.
Below are my pros and cons of the press release to help you assess whether or not it will benefit your PR strategy.
Press Releases Aren’t Social: Because a release is straightforward and no-nonsense, it isn’t social. A press release is not something you share as your Facebook status or email to your friends.
It’s 2016: We are in the digital age of content, pictures, video and — did we mention? — content. Public relations strategists have to get creative with their pitches and positioning if they want to get picked up. Often, journalists aren’t going to read past the first few sentences of your release, unless it grabs their attention.
Press Releases and SEO Are a No-Go: Standing alone, a press release won’t help your SEO. Even though a release is full of juicy keywords, its temporary status online doesn’t lead to any progress on the SERPs (search engine results page). That being said, a press release can lead to SEO success if it sparks content editorial opportunities.
Facts: A press release is a great way to focus all stakeholders on the core of the message and agree on the stories, message and voice.
Tracking Time: A press release should show where a brand stands and where it has been. It should tell a factual story of your history and can serve as an effective time capsule to show to investors, employees and consumers.
Stop the Silence: The distribution of a release gives the appearance of a stream of activity and momentum for the brand or company. Whether it is simply posted on the company’s website or released to reporters, a press release will keep your company or brand top of mind.
In summary, if you’re looking to present a resource that gets all your stakeholders on the same page, explains the history of your brand or keeps your name generally on the radar, a press release may be what you need in the moment. But if you’re trying to cater to the attentions of a digitally savvy audience (or journalist), you might want to consider changing your approach.