Just Remember, “What’s in it for the Audience?”

Perhaps it’s selective perception, but I have noticed quite a few articles on the death of the press release, which I find to be premature, wrong in fact. It reminds me of a conversation I had over ten years ago with a recruiter who told me that public relations (PR) was dead. That was incorrect then, and those now saying the press release is dead are equally mistaken. The press release continues to serve as one of many essential communications tools, especially in business-to-business public relations. As stated in a previous blog post, “The Broader Lesson of Milkshake Marketing,” having a way to announce newsworthy content that is both visible and interesting to the audience is paramount.

What is a Press Release? 

Let’s delve into what a press release is before addressing the myth that they are dead. According to this article by Prowly Magazine, a press release is a “written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy.” In essence, they are a method of spreading news of progress and development. The ways in which this announcement is communicated will vary but include mediums such as e-mail, specialized newspapers, and television. Despite some of these forms of communication appearing archaic and outdated, press releases remain effective.

Why Are Press Releases Still Relevant? 

Press releases are far from obsolete, as they are still powerful and effective tools in public relations. This article by Agility PR Solutions explains this concept when it states, “…despite its basic nature, press releases continue to give PR practitioners the opportunity to tell the story their way, present the facts, distribute news quickly and cost-effectively, secure media coverage and publicity, and expose the brand and message to a wider audience.” The point of a press release is to not only gain recognition in a respective field, but to further a company’s exposure by attracting potential publishers. They also act as a way to show stakeholders and the wider public that a company is still or about to become relevant. Admittedly, press releases are old and simple in nature, but when is it not crucial for a brand to further their exposure? In the age of the internet, staying relevant is and continues to be a top priority. With that said, how does one write a press release?

The Basics of an Effective Press Release

The ways in which you write a press release can vary depending on your intended audience and goals. However, there are some basic principles regarding their length and the timing of their distribution. The mentioned article by Prowly Magazine suggests that you keep things simple and to the point, while targeting relevant outlets. Over half of journalists are inundated with irrelevant information that is not in their area of work nor in their interest. This underscores the need to ask yourself, “What’s in it for the audience?” so that you can properly target your press release for your ideal audience. As for what the length should be and when to distribute your press release, Agility PR Solutions suggests that its runtime be either 15 or 45 minutes. Moreover, the most popular days and time of day are Tuesdays and Fridays and 8 A.M. ET.


After looking into what a press release is, how they continue to be an effective PR tool, it really is a wonder to me as to why articles are being written about their being dead. Sure, they may be an old form of communication, but their relevancy shows no signs of being in decline. So long as your information is relevant and distributed at an optimal time, there really is no effective alternative.

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