So Tom Foremski posted an article entitled “Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! 11 years ago detailing his strategy for changing how news releases would function at the time.
His opinion was that “press releases are nearly useless” and typically just result in wasted time and effort. He proposed a new strategy for organizing press releases that involved deconstructing it into various sections and tagging the information so that the publisher could pre-assemble it.
While I appreciate the idea of organizing the information in a way that makes it easier for journalists to pull information, his strategy involved using various pages of quotes and information. I’m not sure a strategy of this nature would have a chance in this era.
Journalists are oversaturated with press releases and as busy as their profession is, I think we live in an era of short and sweet. The idea of having several pages of quotes seems unthinkable and I can’t imagine anyone would be willing to read through all of that information.
Modern press releases are formatted to be concise, and are organized to only include the most relevant information. I’m not sure where his idea of including a lot of links would fit within this structure.
I also think press releases still play an important role and wouldn’t quite agree that they are useless. In our culture today we are typically only getting a few snippets of a story and not the entire thing. Despite popular belief, many people still look to major outlets for the full story so I think sending news releases can still play a major role if done properly.
While I may have disagreed with Foremski in terms of formatting, I did agree that those writing press releases should leave the direction of the story to the journalist and not try to put their own spin on it. It only makes sense to allow the journalists to do it since that is their job and it saves wasted energy.
I’m interested to see how press releases will continue to develop and change overtime and what new strategies will be put into place to help them avoid the trash.