by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media
Will the death wish for the press release never cease? Something about the approach of Day of the Dead each Fall seems to provoke fantasies of its demise.
A recent article in AdAge is a case in point. Media columnist Simon Dumenco suggested that Twitter has made press releases obsolete. “The long-suffering, much maligned press release, I’d argue, finally died this summer,” he wrote. Dumenco pointed to Kanye West and other celebs as models of how Twitter can replace press releases.
But then PR people (including yours truly) chimed in, vigorously rising to the press release’s defense.
Among the comments:
“Dead?! Oh, Mr. Dumenco, I disagree.” –nravlin, Burlington, VT
“There will always be a need for someone to encapsulate that great story, that feature, in a form which has shape and rationale and the emotional appeal which is what resonates with people’s fundamental needs.”–JustWrite, Los Angeles, CA
“Press releases aren’t dead, so let’s try to be a bit less argumentative and bit more informed, shall we?”–cameronb129, Baltimore, MD
“Yes, my industry has changed. I used to type news releases on an IBM Selectric. Now I compose them in a word processor, and embed hotlinks and keywords….the purpose of the news release itself hasn’t changed. And, luckily for my clients, neither have my results when it comes to writing and distributing news releases.”–Kathleen Hanover, Las Vegas
The discussion has churned for years. Silicon Valley blogger Tom Foremski stirred up the nondebate back in 2006 with a now infamous rant, Die Press Release! Die! Die! Die! I wrote about it right here almost exactly two years ago. A Google search of the phrase “death of the press release” returns more than 19 million results. And the AdAge article referenced above provoked more than 20 comments, a slew of blogposts, and an active discussion in the PRSA group on LinkedIn.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, press releases are here to stay. They continue to serve as one of the most useful, cost effective, enduring and yes–ubiquitous–tools in the marketing and communications arsenal. We can legitimately debate what to call them: press releases, news releases, h-releases, social media releases, social media news releases. But that’s another blogpost.
For more on the State of the Press Release, check out our White Paper.