So, the press release is actually ascending as a communications vehicle. InformationWeek says: “Press Releases Are More Popular Than Reported News, Says Study – Also, knowledge workers fail to find what they’re looking for in Internet searches 30% of the time. (thanks to Pop!PR for the pointer)
This is all based on a report from Outsell.
Despite all the rhetoric about the death of press releases this doesn’t surprise me. The utility of the press release coupled with effective distribution vehicles is pushing them into all the major news portals and throughout the blogosphere. Then, you’ve got waning trust in traditional media…
Is what we need a new format – like what the Shift guys are proposing? Tom is also on the case (I’m happy to help). The issue with new formats is distribution. The current standard formats are engineered for wire distribution. Links, imbedded images, all that other really cool stuff gets stripped in the transmission process. And the current cost structure of the distributors is slowing the take-up of new options. So, before we focus on format, lets focus on distribution. Then we have a fighting chance.
At the end of the day does this solve what people want vs. what the media want? Increasingly the press release isn’t written (perhaps even “mostly”) for the media – it is written for the “consumer”. What this survey flags for me is an opportunity communicate better using the existing medium. Against that backdrop, format is a sideshow to the real issue of well written and crafted communications. That is where the art is and real talent is required. An perhaps by doing both we deliver what everyone is looking for, a better press release.