According to a recent study by Fellows of the Society for New Communications Research, press releases – once the paper-based province of PR professionals – are now primarily online vehicles important to PR and marketing professionals alike, but for different reasons.
PR professionals surveyed place more importance on announcing news and influencing thought leaders about their clients as goals for press releases. Marketers surveyed cited press releases as tools in reaching consumers directly, reaching bloggers and other new social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) for Web sites.
How do the two groups measure success for an online press release? Both had the same criteria:
- Number of online views
- Generation of an article in the media
- Number of calls from media requesting interviews
The findings of the article aside, some PR and marketing professionals believe the press release is dead, with each new means of social media a nail in its coffin.
“Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs have taken away most of the spotlight from the press release,” says Maria Coppola, BroadBased’s PR director. “But in my experience, every time I pitch a story, the first thing out of a reporter or editor’s mouth is ‘Do you have something to send me?’ They still need that guidance and information a press release can provide. We’ve found that our biggest successes in generating meaningful articles for our clients continues to be the direct introduction of a reporter or editor through phone calls and meetings. Press releases are helpful, but are certainly no replacement for good old-fashioned relationship-based pitching.”