The Bad Pitch Blog is tired of PR navel-gazing over whether the press release -- traditionally the basic tool of media relations -- is dead. Indeed, this has been a popular topic for years now in online PR discussion groups and at conferences. The Bad Pitch Blog nails it:
At the end of the day, if it's newsworthy, it doesn't matter what format it's in. Serve it up on toast...there are more than enough creative options. But the more the public relations industry talks about the press release, the more we have an answer as to why PR doesn't have a seat at the table.
The public relations industry needs to spend as much time on critical thinking, where we provide more value, as it does on the nitty gritty of the tactics. Maybe this rant is telling me the industry needs to spend more time on critical thinking. Perhaps it's the challenge of a discipline that must scale between thoughtful strategy and detail-oriented execution. But that's more of an opportunity than anything else. (link)
People still use press releases because they still work, at least with the traditional media. (Which we still care about, by the way.) But they only work if they are well-done, properly targeted, and about something the reporter is likely to care about. In other words, a good press release shares the same characteristics as other good tactics in PR. As a former colleague once said, it ain't rocket surgery.