Thursday, April 1, 2010

RIP Press Release

Four years ago, Tom Foremski blogged about how press releases need to move forward to a include a new step..include hyperlinks. On March 30, Foremski yet again about his frustration with PR pros still neglecting this easy step. So in class, we discussed some of the reasons why PR pros are NOT hyperlinking. Perhaps laziness, forgetfulness, or a control factor? Whatever the reason is, PR pros are not moving forward to evolve the press release, but managing to keep the profession stuck in the past..

So I looked at the new template for the press releases we are supposed to be creating and I liked them..ALOT. Now, we are not required to to create a narrative about the event/person/news we are highlighting, but BULLET.. how much easier could that get? Not only that, but we can incorportate pictures, videos, graphics to make a once white sheet of paper, much more appealing to the eye. So tell me this, WHY oh WHY would we want to keep doing the same old stuff?

Here's a copy of the new template that NEEDS to be followed:


  1. No press release should be subject to a template. Every release should be crafted to meet the needs and objectives of a respective audience.

    What Tom was getting at in his Die Press Release! rant was for communicators to take more care in providing transparent and helpful content within the releases he was seeing every day vs. the hyperbole filled, plain text monstrosities that (still) are very common.

    Each release can and should include embedded links, resource sections (i.e. links to social media, white papers, key pages within a company site, etc.), bullets, bold text, and creative layouts when appropriate to help the communicator tell a story. For communicators that are already doing this they are doing themselves - and their audiences - a favor.

    Unfortunately for many companies, legal departments and unsavvy communicators get their hands on a release and craft back-patting, hype filled, and droning content. At the end of the day, these will get filtered out in searches, editorial systems, etc. as releases written with care will be more relevant and attractive.

    My advise to you is to NOT buy into the social media release template. As a student I would focus more on how you can/should get to know your audience (likes/dislikes, what key terms are best to use, etc.) and work on telling a story. That is the job of the PR pro.

    P.S. Just because it's called a social media release does not mean that it has a greater chance of being shared on social media platforms. Content dictates what will be shared, not the name of a template.


  2. Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it. As a student, it is important for me to know how to be the most effective PR pro. Now that you have laid this out for me, I can see how the audience, not the template is the important thing here.