The News Release Is Very Much Alive. So Stop Asking if It’s Dead!

Every now and then this question appears in an online communications community: Is the news release dead? If I hear this uninformed question one more time, I swear…

It’s like playing Whack-a-mole. Every time you think you have it stamped out, back up it pops.

What is the answer? No, no, no, a thousand times no! Has the format changed? Sure. Video, graphics, and online links were unheard of supplements not so long ago. Will it change again over time? Most likely, in ways we can only imagine now.

The fact remains the trusty ol’ news release is very much alive. While common sense tells us (okay, most of us) that this is true, there is actual proof in the form of Business Wire’s “Media Survey Results.”

Before delving into some of the survey results, it should be acknowledged that Business Wire has a vested interest in touting the news release. It does, after all, make its money by distributing them on behalf of its clients.

With disclosures out of the way, here are some of the top line findings:

  • Nearly 90 percent of the journalists who responded referred to a news release in the past week
  • Sixty-two percent referenced one during the past 24 hours
  • Reporters want photographs, more than any other type of added media, accompanying news releases
  • Reporters want to get news from you via e-mail alerts and news releases (NB: Receiving news via new media was favored by a mere three percent)
  • Pitching stories via new media is proving, so far, to be a bust, with only 0.4 percent of reporters in favor of pitches via Twitter (Facebook fared even worse)
  • While some reporters use LinkedIn and Twitter to research their stories, more than a quarter of them do not use new media at all in their research

My plea: Can those who occasionally post this question read the survey and get a little more creative and substantive when trying to start discussions? A query about the supposed demise of the news release adds nothing to everyone’s knowledge. It’s only an eye-rolling entry in the “Should I opt out of a community with this little wisdom?” sweepstakes.

Your turn. What trends are you seeing as news releases evolve?



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