I know. The traditional press release is dead – pronounced so by BL Ochman over five years ago. Yet I detect a slight pulse and here’s the case for resuscitation:
- The discipline of writing the news in one short sentence is invaluable. Even if you don’t use the release, it informs your telephone pitch.
- The process of drafting and approval should force practitioners, clients and bosses to interrogate their motives: is it more than advertising? is it news? is it a national, local, trade or internal only story?
- There are more audiences for public relations than the media. Others still pay more attention to ‘news’ or ‘news release’ (both are preferable to ‘press release’) than, say, ‘memo’.
- Companies with no news (ie no news releases on the web) look moribund. As Intel’s Andy Grove famously put it, ‘there are two types of companies – the quick and the dead’. What’s (not) going on at Vodafone?