An expert columnist at Built In recently published an article stating, “Death to the Press Release!” The author argues that 1: No one reads press releases, and 2: They’re no longer necessary because we have the technology to directly send news to journalists and we should be doing so via social media or email.
She’s not incorrect in saying the world of PR has shifted; it has and will continue to. We have the tools to find journalists covering similar news and we should be reaching out to them directly. But that doesn’t mean the press release is dead (or should die). Here’s why:
1. Reporters Want To See Them
Contrary to the above article, reporters absolutely do read press releases. Granted, they won’t see every press release you put out (which is why pitching your news is also important) but that doesn’t mean they aren’t checking PR Newswire for stories. In fact, I was recently conducting media outreach to let reporters know of my client’s funding, and one of our top target reporters at TechCrunch let us know he already saw the press release we put over the wire. Further, a 2021 study found 78% of journalists want to see news announcements and press releases from brands.
2. They Show Growth
When you put out a press release, you’re showing your company is active and building momentum through award wins, hiring efforts, new product releases and more. A failing company wouldn’t be making these strides. Showcasing company news lets both the public and potential stakeholders know your business is doing well. This can be especially important if you’re looking for funding or to go public. Before either of these major events, you want investors to have confidence that your company is thriving.
3. They Hold SEO Value
When written well and with target industry keywords in mind, press releases put over the wire can boost SEO. This helps increase exposure for your brand and drive traffic to your website from the links in your press release. Getting media coverage in reputable publications will also result in even greater SEO value because your company will be cited in relevant news consumers are often searching for.
4. They Support Share of Voice
It’s important to keep a similar (or ideally greater) cadence of media mentions as your competitors. If your competitors are sharing multiple press releases while your news and updates go unreported, your share of voice will drop immensely.
Remember, while press releases can be valuable tools in your PR arsenal, if you put them out too often, they begin to lose value. Make sure to develop a strategic plan so you know the right cadence and types of news to put over the wire. If you need help developing a press release plan, let’s talk.