Have you ever said something and immediately regretted it?
Image: Hagrid from Harry Potter
Maybe it was something along the lines of saying the press release is dead and receiving a vicious glare from an old PR pro in return.
Image: Betty White from You Again
Well, today I’m here to express anything but my apologies. The press release has been an incredible tool for the past 110 years. Ivy Lee (may he rest in peace) was a PR genius when he developed the first press release on the Pennsylvania Railroad train wreck in 1906.
It’s time to say goodbye to our beloved press release, cope with the pain and move on.
The Strategy of Social Media
As we give the news release the boot, I think it’s clear what has taken it place. Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks have slid their way in over the past 10 years.
Did you know that 63 percent of Twitter and Facebook users have reported to using those sites as a news source for events going on outside of their family and friend groups? Also, 59 percent of Twitter users and 31 percent of Facebook users reported using the sites to keep up with an event as it’s happening, (journalism.org).
When it comes to government and political topics it is more likely for Facebook users to respond and comment on the subject. As for Twitter, it is more likely for users to follow more/new organizations.
Ultimately, when it comes to getting news across to the public, consumers find it easier to open their apps and search an organization or a hashtag.
How You See It
Similar to a solid and catchy headline, a good graphic or source of visual media is a great way to catch a viewers attention. Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visuals are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered (psychologytoday.com). See example below.
Image: Uberflip Blog
Using a visual method can make learning more fun and desirable for consumers. For example, here is a link to a press release from Apple covering its new product, the Apple watch. The press release explains its new product line, the watch’s features and perks.
Yea, at first glance it seems like you are about to dive into a black hole of information, and for the most part, you pretty much did.
Now here is a link to one of their videos that promotes the watch by also explaining the new products features and perks.
I bet I can guess which source of information you favored over the other.
My Faulty Opinion
I am 21-year-old, I am young and technically grew up in the digital age. I have been told before that I am on my phone too much and I have read articles written by middle-aged parents about the overuse of social media and technology.
As you social media and technology shamers put your opinions out there, I must ask, what tool and platform did you use to put your opinion out to the public? Facebook, blogs, publishing websites? My point is, if you are using it you can’t turn around and diss it.
In 1440 when the first printing press was created, no one dared to turn their noses at an advancement in technology that would later go on to supply some of the most valuable, respected and cherished artifacts of this century.
Before becoming a PR major I had never used a press release. I never came into contact with one on the web; it was simply a new tool to me.
After two years of schooling, in the end, I have ultimately learned that social media, creativity and multimedia are one of the key concepts of catching your viewers eye.