To the opinion of many, the life and times of the press release – which has been used for decades by the professionals in public and media relations – is obsolete and as-good-as-dead technology. Many critics out there would have you believe that creating a press release is a losing and wasted effort – that it is taken with no consideration as they are perceived as spin with meaningless news and quotes while praising their clients as masters of the universe. That they are sent out over the wires – Business Wire, Market Wire, PR Newswire and PR Web, for example – to thousands of faceless journalists to join a pile of thousands of other releases which are either never given another thought or look or are passed along to the trash faster than they are received. And if these journalist do wade through these exaggerated “oceans of releases,” critics see them as merely pre-assembled stories – and basically transcribe it – to their publication and have it run under their byline – with their own spin spun throughout its body.
Here in today’s digital age, where everything takes place in milliseconds with megabytes, we at Shazaaam! believe there is still a place for the tested tried and true methods that made this industry. In fact in today’s “iAge”, the press release remains the dominant source of marketing. In a survey, “Mapping & Tracking: The Optimized Marketing Supply Chain” sponsored by the Chief Marketing Officer Council shows that a vast majority (84 %) still use print collateral leads. The highest percentage of “new media” leads ranked in at 39%, with multimedia tools. This is not to say that multimedia and other “new mediums” don’t have their place in today’s fluid market – not at all. But this does show the place and the seriousness that press releases and other printed collateral still garner in the “age of tomorrow – today.” Papers are still passed around the office.
Of course we understand that the press release is not the only tool for distributing information and creating the news for our clients – we more than utilize our sister company, Buzzphoria (www.buzzphoria.com), for social media. The critics’ misperceptions about what goes into a press release and how they are received could not be more off target. A release is assigned, written, discussed and reviewed. It is not presided and hovered over by lawyers featuring quotes from low level officials. NO. They are carefully and honestly written to ensure that a maximum amount of information is provided, with room to grow on the journalist and on the editorial side. The sources quoted must have a role in the story and are able to provide perspective or insight – not just to give a name to the story. Releases are sent out to targeted media outlets – electronically put into the hands of the people who should have them. They are followed up on, not just blindly sent out like a fishing line with a worm on the end, hoping someone will bite. We follow up and follow up and follow up, working for the client and getting their news out there.