When Is a Press Release the Appropriate Distribution Channel?

Jill Ferry Photography/Getty Images

Jill Ferry Photography/Getty Images

The next time you go to order press release writing services, first ask yourself if your message is best spread through this distribution channel. Is a press release the way to go? Often, it’s not. There are far too many requests of freelance writers to craft a press release when there is not truly news to share. Some companies ask a writer to try to make a topic sound newsworthy, which is sometimes possible, but it might be better to consider whether there are other ways to spread the message you want to get across.

When Is a Press Release the Right Course of Action?

Of course, there is a time and a place for press releases. The most important aspect is that your press release is actually sharing news – something current and well-timed, not evergreen. Sure, sometimes you can spin the focus of your press release to make it seem newsworthy when it’s not, but the spin is often a stretch and it’s usually obvious when you don’t really have any news to share. And that means your “news” won’t be shared, so your press release isn’t effective. Also, your news should be important enough that journalists and others will want to pick up and share your story. So try to save your press release for when your company really has important news, such as a new CEO, a merger, a special event or a shift in the focus of your business.

When Should You Use Another Method?

Often, your goal of trying to spread an update about your company would be better achieved through social media and your company blog. There are times when your information is better suited to these channels and would be shared more if you used them instead of a press release. For instance, if you want to share seasonal sales, the launch of products that wouldn’t be considered BIG news and similar updates, stick with your blog and social media. And this way, fans will know that they should follow your blog and social media pages if they want to stay up to date with your company. You’ll gain a loyal following of people who are truly interested in what you want to share. So turn your updates into part of your broader social media campaign, where you also focus on sharing ideas and information your target audience would find interesting, relevant or fun.

If the information in your press release wouldn’t make the newspaper, consider whether you should skip the press release and share in a different way.

Sharon T enjoys writing press releases for companies when they need them and social media content when that’s the better fit.


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