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Are press releases outdated?

Based on what I have been hearing press releases are now noise and perhaps the best way to secure media pickups is to reach out directly and to build the relationship with the reporter. What do you all think?

13 Replies

Simon Bain
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Simon Bain Entrepreneur
CEO SearchYourCloud Inc.
Maria hi. In very simplistic terms the good old fashioned press release is very outdated. However, if you have something real to say then they will be taken up. By real I mean do not just announce a new app. Announce it with a customer story. In my experience this will be of more interest to a journalist who can then turn it in to a story. Which leads to your second question. Yes... Sorry not much of an answer ;-) So yes getting a direct link with a journalist or analyst is very useful. You obviously need to make sure that they are the right choice, in your area of expertise and that they submit articles to more than one publication, otherwise you will have a very limited uptake. Just a few thoughts Simon
Nigel Dessau
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Nigel Dessau Entrepreneur
Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC
While I think sending them out by 'the wire' is not always that useful anymore, learning how to write a good press release is very important. Separate out the 'content' from the 'delivery tool' in this case. Learning to talk about your content with someone who doesn't understand it (like a member of the press, typically) - is a great skill. Nigel
Laura Mitchell
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Laura Mitchell Advisor
LMC Consultant: Digital Health, Aging, Marketing
For brand new companies, I think press releases are a good idea. It just reminds fellow companies of your relevance and that you're still moving. That said, you can do press releases that are very simple and inexpensive. Or, you can use a blog to share the same information. It is beneficial to get the PR released somewhere (even using ireach for $299) and then share that link on all of your social networks as well as share with relevant journalists, bloggers and media sources. It gives a bit more credibility than sharing your own blog link.
Ken Anderson
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Ken Anderson Advisor
Director, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development, Delaware Economic Development Office
Press releases will never completely go away...but they are and will continue to be delivered in many more technically savvy ways using a menagerie of tech tools. Companies will still do Press releases, but much more innovatively. That being said, press releases are in the middle of the pack of strategies much more effective today to get media attention and the mother lode earned or free media.
Joon Ian Wong
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Joon Ian Wong Entrepreneur
Technology reporter at Quartz
As a journalist who gets 200+ pitches a day, I still have to say that press releases are useful. But you can increases your chances by tailoring them to a particular reporter or publication. The key to that is understanding what types of things those pubs or reporters cover. Building a relationship only works if you have something interesting to offer-which is the same thing as having a good press release.
Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
I would hire a competent, experienced public relations specialist and let him/her figure it out. Best methods probably vary by industry and audience. Pros make their living doing this, and therefore depend on a best practices approach. Sent from my iPhone
William Guillory
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at Innovations International, Inc
Absolutely!!!! Totally!!!!! Even MSN pages are biased. I don't believe any news reports or reporters from any source except the bare facts of what happened!!!! They live in their own world of "truth!" There are enough outlets that I can piece together "what happened" and form my own news report; which is, of course, is not objective.
Josh Kirschner
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Josh Kirschner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO at Techlicious
Press releases should be part of a multi-pronged media strategy. The best approach to getting coverage is building a relationship with a targeted group of journalists who cover your type of product. Unless you have these relationships already, this is best done with a PR firm who has these relationships and can help you tailor your messaging for each outlet/reporter.

However, there are so many outlets and journalists/bloggers in each space that you will need to do some blasts to reach the broader group. Your blasts should tell me very quickly what your product is and why I should get excited about it (do NOT send long, rambling corporate-style press releases). Pictures can help a lot. Like Joon said, journalists get dozens of pitches a day and you have to grab their attention quickly or it will go right into the delete pile. I can't tell you how many BAD pitches I get, where the company is just throwing time and money down the drain. Really think about what that media "elevator pitch" needs to be to get you the coverage you're looking for.
Wendy Marx
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Wendy Marx Entrepreneur
B2B Public Relations Expert Takes You From Anonymity to The New York Times™, Turns SMBs Into Industry Icons
Josh nailed it with this "multi-pronged media strategy." Press releases despite being relics work if done effectively. That's because they very succinctly tell a story so someone doesn't have to wade through a lot of content. They also get indexed in the search engines making it easy for a journalist as well as a prospect to find you. They can be repurposed into blog posts, shared on social media, posted on your website, even turned into an article. Just don't do one and expect articles to flow. You need to combine press releases with media outreach, owned and paid media if you truly want to make hay. Here's a blog post I recently wrote on 5 key components of a press release:
http://b2bprblog.marxcommunications.com/b2bpr/press-release-components-to-boost-your-b2b-marketing
Steve Weiss
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Steve Weiss Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and Advisor at LaunchCommand
I'm sort of dated, but I found press releases totally worthless when my companies were private. After going public my board and the SEC made quarterly press releases stating news and financials mandatory. But they were, at least, of interest to the shareholders. News sections in your web pages and blogs are, as well as focused e-mailings, enough when private.
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