Are Press Releases Still Important?

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The Museum of Public Relations (yes, there is such a thing) considers the first press release to be a statement written by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906, disclosing the events surrounding a train derailment. Thus began an industry. But in the internet age, many of your company's messages can be easily and directly communicated to your customers via social media or a blog page. So is there any room in your marketing plan for a press release? Well, yes, there is. Here's when a press release makes sense:

• You want to communicate a detailed story. If you have fantastic quotes by a respected industry expert, or extensive technical information intended for a specific audience, showcasing the richness of your story in the familiar format of a press release can attract an editor's attention and improve your odds of media coverage.

• You are creating a company "resume." New hires, product releases, quarterly statements and minor awards are important events in your company's growth. The time-honored format of a press release can be used to populate your company's media resource webpage and provide a one-stop-shop for journalists. These webpages have the added benefit of giving your customers a quick primer on your company, as well. Press releases housed on a company website make use of pull marketing (in which customers are taking the action and are drawn to your company's information) instead of push marketing (in which information is, well, pushed onto people). Pull marketing can be a very effective means of relating to your customer.

• You need to broadcast a fairly straightforward message with broad appeal, such as event coverage. Many editors still rely on press releases to convey information that is important to a wide base of the industry. Knowing when to use a given marketing tool, especially in today's world of fast-paced change, is critical.

Call us today for guidance in using the right tool for the job when it comes to your marketing strategy.

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