Follow our socials
January 30, 2024

Are Press Releases Still Relevant?

Public Relations
Press Releases
Back to Blog

Media relations is one of public relations’ pillars. PR professionals work hard not only to establish contacts with the media but also to nurture these relationships.

It is undeniable that the media is going through one of the most challenging moments in its history.

First, it was print media’s swift decline with the growth of digital media, followed by social networks and influencers unseating traditional media as the most in-demand places to consume content, which has led to the reallocation of brands’ advertising budgets. The factors could continue to be listed, from the #fakenews phenomenon to the media's political polarization. Still, unfortunately, it seems like the COVID-19 pandemic has been the coup de grâce for many outlets.

The coronavirus outbreak has severely struck the media industry pushing a substantial number of local outlets to shut down and leaving others trying to survive in tight economic conditions. The constant movement of journalists in and out of newsrooms is also a challenge, making maintaining an updated and accurate media list an ongoing mission.

As newsrooms continue to shrink, those who are left are usually overworked with limited time and resources. This situation affects not only the journalists whose day-to-day is becoming increasingly demanding and complicated but the PR professionals who work with them as we try to adapt as quickly as possible and learn to navigate a media landscape that has dramatically changed.

So given journalists’ busy schedules and crowded inboxes, are they still interested in receiving press releases?

The short answer is yes. According to Cision's 2020 Global State of the Media Report, more than a third (36%) of journalists consider press releases to be the most useful of all brand sources, surpassing spokespeople (19%), email pitches (13%) and company websites (12%); and 72% counted press releases and news announcements among the sort of content they want to receive.

Although they continuously find their inboxes flooded with press releases, many of which are never opened or read (and we know this because we track the open rate of our emails!), journalists do find them necessary and useful.

The key to increasing the chances of securing media coverage; however, lies in whether the release meets these two specific factors:

1. The content of the press release must coincide 100% with the beat that the journalist covers

2. The content must be relevant to the journalist’s audience and have a precise news angle.

Journalists are fed up with receiving press releases that only talk about the benefits of a brand's products or the awards or milestones that a business has reached. Instead, they prefer those who share a compelling and newsworthy story that aligns with their audience’s interests and contain multimedia assets and data they can use. Going back to Cision's data, more than a third of respondents (37%) stated that the number-one thing PR pros could do to help them is understand their target audience and what they find relevant. Nearly half (45%) said press releases are more effective when they contain information relevant to their target audience.

you may also like: How to write an effective press release: 5 must-have elements to give this traditional PR tactic a modern makeover

Today’s media landscape presents many challenges, but we should not be discouraged. As communications professionals and the direct link between clients and the media, it is our obligation to do an excellent job so that our press releases continuously earn a place among the relevant ones in a journalist’s inbox.

Explore more articles...

We know

work with us