November 18, 2008

PR’s not dead, but I’m pretty sure the press release is…

Posted in A walk on the "dark side", Industry Standards at 4:22 pm by R

I sent out a press release today on PR Newswire. I got to thinking…why?

A couple good reasons really:

  1. Sending a release across the wire helps it to propagate like crazy. Ninety-five Web hits in one hour is nothing to turn your nose up at.
  2. It’s a great door knocker to publications and media outlets for pitching purposes.

But no one is calling me or banging down my client’s door for more information. Not because the story isn’t great, but because it came in the form of a press release.

To test my theory, I sent two emails: one that just had pitch information and client news, the other included a pitch and the release. Take a wild guess as to which one got a nibble.

The one without a release.

Here’s my hunch.

When it’s a personal email directed at a specific reporter with detailed information, it seems almost like you’re giving the reporter an exclusive. A press release inherently says:

Hi! I’ve been crafted for a plethora of journalists making whatever you write about me seem boring, repetitive and anything but unique. Please use me.

So, where do we go from here?

You’ve got to have client-approved talking points, but you’ve got to make it personal. I say get approved messaging points and dispense with the personal pitches.

For the really big stuff, crossing the wire makes sense. I sure can’t place 95 hits in one hour that will propagate like mad in SEO. But for so many other things, addressing personal relationships, individual needs of reporters and being a tailored resource is the only thing that makes sense.

The press release is dead! Long live public relations!



1 Comment »

  1. Joseph said,

    I just started reading your blog and really like the content on your blog. I look forward to reading more!

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