Your answer to that question should be a resounding no! There is still a meaningful place in an organization’s messaging mix for strategically planned and well-written news releases. Here are the top 10 reasons why they remain a viable and valuable communications tool:
#10: News releases lend immediate credibility. Any announcement, milestone, or business decision seems more impactful when wrapped in a news release format. Delivering your content using an accepted news reporting formula—including the five Ws—adds significance and authenticity to the message.
#9: News releases provide an official source of information. Editors and reporters instantly know that a news release represents a company’s approved position. Releases are often picked up and published nearly exactly as written—even in this era when online influencers tend to take initiative and add their own spin around nearly every other type of communication tool.
#8: News releases enable messaging to be strategically controlled and delivered. Nearly every news release includes one or more quotes. It is perfectly acceptable for company spokespeople to offer these self-serving platitudes within a release without being vilified as biased insiders or cheerleaders.
#7: News releases build a strong organizational history. Blog posts, tweets, and even news stories tend to be fleeting and disappear over time. However, archived news releases create an important permanent record that chronicles key activities and events.
#6: Archived news releases provide core reference material. Anyone who wants to know more about your organization is likely to make your newsroom webpages one of their first stops. Publishing interesting news, thought leadership, and progress reports over the years can’t help but impress potential employees, investors, business partners, customers, and other stakeholders.
#5: News releases enhance search engine optimization. Posted news releases written with relevant content and topical key words are sure to increase organic traffic to your website. That’s always a good thing!
#4: News releases prove you are in the game. Don’t hesitate to create news releases that position you ahead of the technology curve, show you are a leader in important strategic markets, validate your strong business partnerships, and prove that you offer unique value differentiators. While all of your releases may not merit national distribution, posting regularly on your own website can help your business development team substantiate your organization’s solid foundation for success.
#3: News releases create excellent content that can be repurposed. A posted press release provides a primary messaging source for borrowing information that can be ported into blogs, white papers, speeches, sales tools, and other marketing communications materials.
#2: News releases help develop a unified point of view in a timely manner. In most cases, news releases do not take overly long to produce. Plus, they may be easier to deliver than a position paper, news article, collateral piece, executive speech, or other communication tool. While other materials may eventually be needed, a news release is often the best place to start.
And last, but certainly not least…
#1: News releases generate sales leads. Since most organizations are intensifying their focus to stimulate more customer inquiries, it makes sense to consider using news releases to help meet those goals. Without overly commercializing your releases, it is possible to include a link or two to relevant product pages, add a toll-free phone number or other contact information into the company boilerplate, and otherwise encourage inbound traffic.
News releases are tried and true communication tools that still play an important role in nearly any messaging program. As you work to get full value from the benefits they deliver, don’t forget to curate and reinforce their key points through the many other publicity channels you use.
A final thought: “News releases enable you to condense and communicate your key messages and to tell your story in a very effective, credible way.” ~Deborah Weinstein