|Posted by PRSSA on February 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM|
Written by Tashma Scott
A traditional press release is one of the most valuable tools any public relations professional has, right? Initially, an aspiring PR professional learns how to develop a press release and use it to the best of his ability. But according to Aaron Perlut, in a Forbes online article, Why The News Release Is Worthless In Today’s Social Media Age, "'a news release is a worthless bother."
Perlut, a founding partner of the St. Louis media and marketing agency Elasticity, expresses that news releases are just taking up space in his inbox unless he can get past the subject line of the email. Perlut thinks that free services like HARO, Help A Reporter Out, are more helpful and effective in soliciting information to reporters.
He goes on to quote Jason Kintzler, a former reporter who founded and now leads PitchEngine.com, saying that “It’s not conversational or engaging, and the only way to capture attention is with a racy headline, which journalists see past,” in regards to a traditional press release. “It’s the easy-button."
Perlut then supports his statements by explaining the way he helped to announce the licensing of a new video gaming experience that he says others would think was important enough to put in a news release. He said instead of spending money on a news release, his team sent out a two sentence pitch to some major news outlets. The story was posted and then circulated throughout the same media platforms as a traditional news release.
“Why are my fellow PR people still writing and distributing so many worthless news releases?” he asks as he ends the article.
So, as aspiring public relations professionals, do we have an answer to this question? Is it because we think we have to because it’s what we we're told? This is just a question for us to reflect upon. We are taught the steps and rules of public relations through speech communication, journalism and even radio television classes, but ultimately we are expected to use those tools to branch out and think outside of the box. Confidently, we all can get to that point in our future careers.