Press Release · Startups

Are press releases outdated?

Maria Garnier Operations Coordinator en Socialatom Group

September 30th, 2016

Based on what I have been hearing press releases are now noise and perhaps the best way to secure media pickups is to reach out directly and to build the relationship with the reporter. What do you all think?

Joon Wong Technology reporter at Quartz

September 30th, 2016

As a journalist who gets 200+ pitches a day, I still have to say that press releases are useful. But you can increases your chances by tailoring them to a particular reporter or publication. The key to that is understanding what types of things those pubs or reporters cover. Building a relationship only works if you have something interesting to offer-which is the same thing as having a good press release. 

Josh Kirschner Founder & CEO at Techlicious

September 30th, 2016

Press releases should be part of a multi-pronged media strategy. The best approach to getting coverage is building a relationship with a targeted group of journalists who cover your type of product. Unless you have these relationships already, this is best done with a PR firm who has these relationships and can help you tailor your messaging for each outlet/reporter. 

However, there are so many outlets and journalists/bloggers in each space that you will need to do some blasts to reach the broader group. Your blasts should tell me very quickly what your product is and why I should get excited about it (do NOT send long, rambling corporate-style press releases). Pictures can help a lot. Like Joon said, journalists get dozens of pitches a day and you have to grab their attention quickly or it will go right into the delete pile. I can't tell you how many BAD pitches I get, where the company is just throwing time and money down the drain. Really think about what that media "elevator pitch" needs to be to get you the coverage you're looking for.

Nickolay Kolev Freelancer at Private

September 30th, 2016

I think you miss to address the biggest, if not the only reason, why you should still do press releases. The reason is called "Google".

You do a PR to get noticed and to eventually drive traffic to your site. (If you have other reasons, it is probably waste of money). Doing a PR will get you in the Google news section, which will help you get indexed and most likely improve your overall ratings (again - Google). So, PR is very useful to get the backlinks from reputable sources, which will improve your index with Google, which will help you get closer to top search results, which will potentially bring more visitors to your site. 

If you include in your PR a link to a landing page (hint- you must!), it will be much better, because it will help you track visitors and make an offer or collect an email address with a lead magnet offer. Never send a customer to a generic Home page. You will lose her and will be only paying for consumed bandwidth and PR fees.

So, there you have it. Now go ahead and implement the quick marketing tip I just gave you here and you will realize that PR still has legs.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

September 30th, 2016

I would hire a competent, experienced public relations specialist and let him/her figure it out. Best methods probably vary by industry and audience. Pros make their living doing this, and therefore depend on a best practices approach. Sent from my iPhone

David Dallaire Founder/President at Fennec Marketing Group

October 1st, 2016

As a tool for driving publicity, a Press Release is no longer a strong tool for that. However, as part of a Content strategy, they still have value. It won't work alone as part of an Inbound (Content) Marketing play, but will make sense as a component of one in terms of creating backlinks (always include a link to a Landing Page in 2-3 places in the PR), some traffic, and additional content for your Brand.

Steve Weiss Co-Founder and Advisor at LaunchCommand

September 30th, 2016

I'm sort of dated, but I found press releases totally worthless when my companies were private. After going public my board and the SEC made quarterly press releases stating news and financials mandatory. But they were, at least, of interest to the shareholders. News sections in your web pages and blogs are, as well as focused e-mailings, enough when private.

Laura Mitchell LMC Consultant: Digital Health, Aging, Marketing

September 30th, 2016

For brand new companies, I think press releases are a good idea. It just reminds fellow companies of your relevance and that you're still moving. That said, you can do press releases that are very simple and inexpensive. Or, you can use a blog to share the same information.  It is beneficial to get the PR released somewhere (even using ireach for $299) and then share that link on all of your social networks as well as share with relevant journalists, bloggers and media sources. It gives a bit more credibility than sharing your own blog link.

William Guillory at Innovations International, Inc

September 30th, 2016

Absolutely!!!! Totally!!!!! Even MSN pages are biased. I don't believe any news reports or reporters from any source except the bare facts of what happened!!!! They live in their own world of "truth!" There are enough outlets that I can piece together "what happened" and form my own news report; which is, of course, is not objective.

Nigel Dessau Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC

September 30th, 2016

While I think sending them out by 'the wire' is not always that useful anymore, learning how to write a good press release is very important. Separate out the 'content' from the 'delivery tool' in this case. Learning to talk about your content with someone who doesn't understand it (like a member of the press, typically) - is a great skill. Nigel 

Wendy Marx B2B Public Relations Expert Takes You From Anonymity to The New York Times™, Turns SMBs Into Industry Icons

September 30th, 2016

Josh nailed it with this "multi-pronged media strategy." Press releases despite being relics work if done effectively. That's because they very succinctly tell a story so someone doesn't have to wade through a lot of content. They also get indexed in the search engines making it easy for a journalist as well as a prospect to find you. They can be repurposed into blog posts, shared on social media, posted on your website, even turned into an article. Just don't do one and expect articles to flow. You need to combine press releases with media outreach, owned and paid media if you truly want to make hay. Here's a blog post I recently wrote on 5 key components of a press release: