Are Press Releases A PR Strategy?

Chuck Zimmerman

I think they can be a very important part of a communications plan or we wouldn’t have a business that focuses on the production and distribution of press releases. I like to refer to them as news releases since reporters are looking for news. They’re not looking for an opportunity to provide free publicity to some company or organization (usually).

Here’s an interesting post that I thought you might want to read and contemplate. I will admit to not having read the book, which is the subject of the post. But it does contain some excerpts and in particular I agree with one phrase about genuinely helping the reporter do their job. That’s why we strongly encourage sending audio to radio reporters. That helps them and makes your release more likely to be “used.” So here’s that post. I’d be interested in your thoughts, especially if you’ve read the whole book.

Saturday, January 29

Press Releases Are Not a PR Strategy

* A new book from PR expert Linda VandeVrede takes a fresh look at our misunderstood discipline. The title of her book: Press Releases Are Not a PR Strategy. Some selling points of her public relations analysis:

“If you think your company’s lack of success in gaining “ink” in your favored publications is due to a dearth of news releases or a lack of hard-hitting messages that resonate with your customers, you may want to think again.”

High on the book’s myth list is the venerable press release. “In our digital world of minute-by-minute news updates and rampant information overload, press releases can be the least effective way to get your message across to your target audience,” says VandeVrede.

Who is the target audience for PR? Not the purchaser or end user of your products and services, as most companies believe. Instead, VandeVrede’s book maintains that, the editors and analysts responsible for writing about your company and its products can be your biggest obstacles or your strongest allies in getting your message across — and genuinely helping them to do their jobs can pay big benefits.

“One of the best lessons in this book is that the editor is your boss,” says Lisa Vaas, associate editor, “Not the product, nor the company. The best thing that a PR rep can do for me is enable me to deliver something honest and timely to my readers.”

posted by PR Machine at 1/29/2005

Public Relations