Are Press Releases Dead In The Digital Age? | Business Town

Are Press Releases Dead In The Digital Age?

  Learn how press releases fit into the online landscape and whether you should work them into the PR plan for your business.

Is the press release dead? I’m David Gerzof Richard, president and founder of Big Fish PR, and it is a yes and no answer.

A Changing PR Climate

Yes, the press release is dead in terms of that go-to central public relations tool that disseminates news over the web and drops it into every single reporter’s mailbox. That just is simply not the way the news travels anymore. What keeps the press release alive really is the SEC and something called “fair disclosure”. Most publicly traded companies still use the press release of the newswire service to get news out there in ways that do not make them run afoul of the SEC.

How The Press Release Still Survives

On the other hand, the press release is still very much alive in the sense that it is an important tool for reporters who are short of time and long on deadlines to be able to quickly and concisely vet a news announcement and understand its newsworthiness and how it applies to their audience. So, it’s very important to write a press release and that aspect of the press release is still very much alive and thriving. It’s the methods by which that they’re being distributed that, in my mind and in my opinion, is dead. The wire service does nothing for you; there is way too much noise out there on the Internet and search engines do not care about press releases – in fact, they mark them down.

Think about it: when’s the last time you’ve done a search, and you actually found a company’s press release that’s not on the news section of their website?

A Modern Approach to Press Releases

So what is the best method today with a press release? It is to draft that press release, pitch it to the right journalist with the right audience using data-driven PR tactics and work with them on the story. Once that story publishes, then you take that press release and post to the new section of your website where will be found by search engines.

About David Richard

David Gerzof Richard is the founder and president of BIGfish Communications, an award-winning public relations agency that works with disruptive innovation and technology brands. Over the past 16 years, David has successfully developed and executed numerous PR, marketing, and social influence campaigns across a broad range of industries. In 2003 David was appointed a professor at Emerson College where he currently teaches a range of marketing and public relations courses. He also lectures regularly at Harvard University and contributes to a variety of national online, print and broadcast business news outlets. David can be found on Twitter @DavidGerzof and on the web at