Let this sink in for a moment: before cell phones, we never had to ask where anyone was. If we were talking to someone, we knew the answer to that question. It’s obvious that rapidly evolving technology has fundamentally changed the way we communicate with one another. Like everything else, press releases have adjusted to accommodate new technology.
Before the widespread use of the Internet, press releases were simply text documents that were faxed to media outlets. If the information was interesting enough, it got a mention in the next day’s paper or on the nightly news. This was an elegantly simple process compared to what the public relations world faces today.
Now, many young people in the work force haven’t ever successfully used a fax machine. Instead, press releases are distributed via email, Facebook, Twitter, and company blogs. This means that news outlets and consumers are receiving press releases at the same time.
Instead of cutting out the middleman, marketing professionals have invited consumers to the party. Essentially, the most loyal consumers can act as media outlets as well. They read the press release, like it, and share it with their social network. The number of potential mouthpieces for the company has grown exponentially and nobody has to listen to those annoying fax machine noises. Winning!
To further complicated things, press releases now consist of much more than text. Because it is all web-based, it has become the norm to include photos, videos and links with the release. This makes the content more engaging and gives reporters a starting point for their research.
Of course, it can’t be all sunshine and roses. There are some unique challenges that companies may face when distributing press releases. For example, media outlets have come to expect quicker, more engaging content. While the fax machine was annoying at times, text was easy enough to write. Now, they expect professional graphics, videos and websites.
Not every company has the resources to staff an entire department just for producing this content. Luckily, Duncan/Day is here to help. If you need a hand in navigating the world of press releases, give us a call.