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The future of press release

Feb 19, 2019, 6:03 am

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Surprisingly, everyone has their own opinion about the future of press release. When you read content found in Google, it says that it is still relevant to businesses, while experts claim that it is dying.

The Present

If we are going to look at the current scenario, there are contrasting beliefs about its existence. Several studies have been conducted to answer this complicated question.

Different reports showed contradicting results. There are experts who say that it is still relevant, while others are claiming that it is no longer a viable PR tactic in the digital age.

One thing for sure, the way people communicate has changed intensely in recent years. People consume news from different sources. They moved away from the traditional releases of getting the latest news.

No matter what experts say that it is no longer a useful PR tactic, it is still here and thriving. If it’s dead, you will no longer see newswires syndicating releases. This just proves that it is used by brands that want to share their news across different channels.

Even though releases are no longer the main source of information, it is still very popular when combined with other PR tactics. Many brands use it along with blogs and visual content to promote their news. And the result is astonishing.

Take for instance the case of Microsoft when it launched Windows 10. Before its launch, it issued several blogs to support the release. Then it issued a release during the launching.

Many companies do the same. They use social media and blogs as teasers for their announcement. There are image and video content to attract the media’s attention.

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While there are changes in the way announcements are made, PR distribution continues to serve its function- to get the interest of the media. It has become more social. It can be shared on social media and boost the traffic of a site.

When written well, it can still help build quality links. It can still boost the site’s ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs).

It remains an effective tool but can be maximized when it is used as part of a bigger marketing plan. Companies can link it to infographics or blogs. It provides journalists with a new way of presenting news to their readers.

Facts:

  • About 80 percent of online viewers will watch a video while only 20 percent will read an entire release.
  • Traditional releases have an average half-life of 9 days, while visual releases have 40 days.

Releases Will Be Gone in the Future?

About 71 percent of respondents believed that releases would be less used by 2030, according to PR Week. Communicating with journalists was also predicted to be less common when that time comes.

One thing for sure, communicating with the media will remain part of PR. The method of communication and the channels of communicating will change.

The study also found that great storytelling will always be the core of presenting news. Writers still must find a unique hook, identify the audience, engage them and measure the results.

Newspapers are predicted to be “all-but-dead” by 57 percent of respondents. Nearly 34 percent thought that it will still be useful for disseminating news by 2030. The findings were reported as the industry of mobile technology continues to soar.

Is it Still Relevant?

Another study showed a different result. Nine out of 80 PR professionals thought that releases are no longer effective and relevant. The remaining 71 PR pros believed that it’s relevant.

Premium PR distribution is still a valuable tool for companies because it helps grow their branding, offers exclusivity, positions a company to be a thought leader, provides engagement, and provides a great way for them to promote their content.

Some respondents believed that it still provides an SEO value when keywords and links are optimized. They thought that it helps brands improve their rankings.

However, this is not true. Release no longer provides a direct SEO for a site. In short, it offers no SEO juice to rank them in the SERPs.

After Google changed its algorithms, links in releases must have a “no follow” attribute. Any site caught violating will be penalized by Google.

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Although it doesn’t have a direct SEO effect now, it still provides an indirect way to boost SEO. Reputable sites link back to a release when they find it valuable. In return, it gives the site a backlink that boosts their rankings.

Contrary to the claims that releases are useless now, it can still draw traffic and build brand awareness. When a site earns organic links, they will have more traffic, and more people will know their brand.

A release can still help a business in several ways. Once it is optimized, the opportunities for a brand are limitless.

Don’t forget that you can only earn backlinks if your content is newsworthy and relevant. Focus on creating these types of content to attract links and boost your SEO.

Today, releases are not only for journalists and media outlets. It is not only picked up by the media for coverage. Consumers can now directly read and share it on social media.

It is also incorporated with images, videos, infographics, and other multimedia, making it more interactive. The changes in releases help brands improve the manner they tell their stories. One thing remains despite the changes. Writers or PR pros need to pinpoint the angle of the story and answer “Why the story matters?”

What is the Future of Releases?

Despite the claims, releases will still have a place in the PR scene. It will not function solely but best combined with other PR tactics.

Releases will be less distinguishable in the future. It will not be the full-text releases. It will be seen to be more interactive and engaging.

Releases are relevant now and will be in the future. Here are ways how to keep it effective as it was before:

It must be implemented with other PR tactics

Releases are no longer as effective as a single PR solution. It must work in combination with other techniques to reap more results.

Pitching a story to journalists is a single PR tool. It is not applicable anymore. Companies must find the places where their audience is already existing.

It must be distributed on social media or third-party blogs where you can engage directly with the consumers. Building relationships with the audience will be an important part of a successful PR strategy.

Always tie your campaign with your marketing and sales plans. Find ways how you can use it simultaneously with other tactics.

Keep it visual

Don’t forget that people are looking for engaging content. Plain full-text bores them. Therefore, keep it visual by including images, infographics, videos, and other multimedia.

Including visual elements in a release, help optimize content. It can appear on Google Images, improving your visibility. Multimedia provides the media with a new way to use your content.

Content with multimedia or visual elements gets more reads, shares, and engagement. It’s one way to boost your brand awareness and authority.

Headlines and lede are important

With the overload of information these days, it is important to create unique content that people would have the interest to engage. The headline and lede are important parts of a release.

Make sure that the headline grabs the attention of the readers. The lede that contains the key facts (what, who, where, when, why and how) should be written logically in the first paragraph. Keep it factual, informative and straight to the point.
It should not be found elsewhere. If you place it in other parts of the release, you’ll have less opportunity to get covered.
Your content should stand out from the rest. Otherwise, it is hard to be found on the internet.

Building relationships is still a critical part of your campaign

Although so many things have changed in PR, one thing that should remain is how brands build relationships with the media.
Relationships can last for a long time compared when you don’t even know the journalist. Reach out to relevant media. Do research and find out their interests, and what stories they have covered recently and are working on.

Interact with them on social media. Meet them in person. Help them in finding story ideas and resources.

Be more interactive and engaging

Don’t just focus on releases. Always ask yourself how you can participate in conversations. Media monitoring is very important to track what others are saying about you.

By knowing what they are saying about your brand, you can create effective communication strategies. You can also enhance your future campaigns.

Be mobile-friendly

It’s very important that your releases are mobile-friendly. When crafting, ensure that it is optimized for mobile users.

Don’t forget that most online users consume news via their mobile devices. By keeping your content accessible across different platforms, you can be sure that they see your news.

If you want to be competitive in the industry, it’s the way to go. Amplify your message in other channels to ensure that you get more eyes in your announcement.

What do you think is the future of releases? Do you see your company using it 10 to 15 years from now?

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