Is the press release really dead?
Have blogs killed traditional journalism? Should the press release really die, die, die, die? Why did the PR pro cross the road?
No, no and to launch a career in social media.
OK, so there are a lot of bad press releases out there. And not everybody reads a newspaper these days. And social media offers another good way to reach bloggers and journalists.
So why does it make sense to perfect press releases and other PR materials? Two reasons:
1. Newspapers aren’t dead.
They’re just providing copy for bloggers.
It’s true: Fewer people are reading the newspaper. According to a 2010 Harris Poll:
- Just two out of five Americans read a newspaper daily.
- Fewer than three in four read one weekly.
- One out of 10 never reads a paper.
The younger you are, the less likely you are to read a newspaper every day. According to Harris:
- Nearly two-thirds of folks 55 and older read a newspaper daily.
- Fewer than one-quarter of 18- to 34-year olds read a daily paper.
Traditional media provides news; social media disperses it. But … (And as Pee-wee Herman says, “There’s always a big but.”)
But most of what you read, in social media as well as in traditional news sources, comes from newspapers. Some 95% of new information originates with traditional media, according to a 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project study. Social media reports the least new information.
And 72% of the most retweeted sources on trending topics were mainstream media, according to a study by Hewlett Packard. Those sources included the BBC, The New York Times and CNN.
So that blog post or status update you’re reading? Chances are, that started out as a newspaper story.
So don’t give up on traditional media. Want to reach bloggers and others who distribute the news? Try placing your story in a newspaper.
2. Help journalists and bloggers do their jobs.
Nearly six in 10 journalists surveyed have added web duties to their existing responsibilities, according to a survey by PWR New Media. At the same time, thanks to layoffs that have decimated newsroom staffs, they have fewer hands with which to accomplish their new work.
And TV reporters are now “one-man bands,” reports Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post. They’re expected to report, shoot and edit their own stories — all while taking pay cuts from their employers.
A well-written press release can help these tired, busy professionals do their jobs better and more easily. (And, given their tight schedules, they’re more likely than ever before to run your release verbatim.)
Perhaps that’s why journalists report than 62% of their content comes from PR resources, according to the 17th Annual Bennett & Company Media Survey.
Why not send them yours?