I would never say the press release or news release is completely dead. There is a purpose for them but it isn’t necessarily the best way to pitch a story to the media. The press release is a good tool to share information about your company, announce awards, or share details about events, especially if you are posting them on your own website or in a media kit. Sharing press releases will help spread the word and may even get you some media coverage it is just not the use of your time or efforts (in my opinion) if you want specific media coverage or a feature. You do want to make sure you are writing the best release you can!
Press releases are best used in conjunction with a focused, targeted email pitch. You can read about proper pitches in some of my earlier posts, including Think Like A Journalist.
IF you do want to share your press release with the world there are a number of services available to you. You don’t need to hire a PR firm or PR rep to do that for you. I can’t recommend any specific services but instead have listed a few that you might want to check out. There are free options and paid options. Do your research and find the option that best suits your needs…if a press release service is really what you want.
(I will say I still feel the best approach to media and PR is still pitching one journalist at a time.)
The press release is a solid PR tool to let people know what you and your company has been up to. It is a great tool to create content for your website, media kit and your online/digital PR kit or media page. Use your press releases to help inform and educate, just don’t use it as the only tool to get media attention. The press release is a great add on to your email pitch to journalists!