This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

I’m going to start off my very first blog on my new website with a thought that’s been circulating in my head this last year that was revitalized when I attended Wednesday night’s PR session: The News Release is DEAD.

Or, at least, it’s dying. I didn’t graduate from a certified PR program, but since I left school I started to write news releases working at a PR firm, many of which were published verbatim. When I supplemented my work with some Marketing, PR and Media Relations courses, I had even more practice not just writing releases but FULL media kits including fact sheets, backgrounders, and bios.

Since then I’ve started my own practice, and continued to write releases right up until last November. But even last year I attended a PR event that stated that releases were passe, and that because news people have little time to read more than one page of content, sending concise emails were the better way to go. I thought about putting the news release to bed then, but my clients still demanded it.

The release isn’t COMPLETELY dead yet especially because many corporations expect them to be done on a regular basis — and public companies are actually required by law to put out releases for Securities Commissions and their shareholders. Some BIG breaking (I’m talking international, Michael Jackson type) news will actually require a newswire to disseminate releases to worldwide media, and fast.

But for the most part, the release SHOULD be dead. This is because it is no longer practice – or polite even – to blanket the media with the same one-page release. Let’s not even talk about 2+ page releases. Especially because bloggers and other online media outlets consider themselves non-traditional and expect that you’re familiar with what they write about and how to send info to them. PR practitioners – even myself – need to start customizing content to each and every reporter, producer, and blogger alike.

I know I’m contradicting what a lot of the PR textbooks are saying right now. But it’s because we’re living in a completely different world than the one Edwards Bernays lived in. Digital, real time and brevity reign. I expect respect from people who report about my clients, so they should expect the same from me.

I’m going to make some promises to myself and to my fellow media people that I hope to hold myself to this year:

  • I will avoid the news release. If I must do one, I will not send it to everyone.
  • I will link to photos, videos, and other information on my client rather than putting it ALL in one email.
  • I will keep my emails to 200 words or less.
  • I will not send attachments, especially not PDFs.

And for the love of god, let’s stop calling it a Press Release. News isn’t all on press anymore. Amen.

To come: The ad is DEAD.

Download Chapter 1 of Vegan Marketing Success Stories to learn the 6 basics ALL vegan businesses need to implement before they start marketing!

You have Successfully Subscribed!