Does a press release still have value? In some ways, yes, but not in the way most people think.
Unless you are sending a press release about an SEC filing or a major upcoming news event, the press release has largely been relegated to the dust bin of journalistic history and really serves as background content to populate a website. In short, it generally does not get you press. Even if you are sending out a press release with news value, it is useless without a proper pitch on top.
In today’s world reporters generally ignore press releases unless they need background for a story. It is rare that a press release becomes a jumping off point for a story.
Believe it or not, true PR professionals do not get press for clients based on writing press releases. Instead they develop a story line that will get the attention of targeted journalists. That is what we in the PR world call “the pitch.”
A proper, well-crafted pitch should be short and to the point. Much like a newspaper lead, it should quickly grab the attention of readers and tell them what the story is about. A pitch should have an engaging headline and nut graph that sums up why readers should be interested.
Reporters are always looking for stories. Give them one and they will love you and trust you in the future.
True PR is not about one-offs. It is about producing strong story lines that make you top of mind for stories down the road. It is about building relationships for your clients.
A press release is a one-off.