The importance of Press Releases1
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESS RELEASES
Though human beings have witnessed the dramatic development of the media that enables people to gather information everywhere via cell phones or digital devices, the newspaper unquestionably remains an important source of news for almost all people. Readers, through newspapers, can find information about upcoming events or new products that warrant their attention. In order to provide readers with such useful information, apart from hiring a team of excellent journalists, editors also use an equally important source: the press release. So what is a Press Release?
According to en.wikipedia.org, a press release (or news release) is “a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something” that is considered to be newsworthy. Normally, it is mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, or television stations. Those who issue the press release do not have to pay for the space in newspapers or broadcasting time.
A news release is different from a news article. A news article is a compilation of facts developed by journalists published in the news media, "Whereas a press release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop articles on the subject". Advantages of Press Releases
A well-written release can dramatically increase sales, expose companies to the masses, and greatly enhance the image of businesses or products. It brings companies or organisations various advantages compared to advertising.
a. No cost to pay
In today's business world, companies have to pay millions of dollars if they want to advertise their products or services in a famous and prestigious newspaper or television show. It may not come as a big surprise that an ad on television lasting just a few seconds can cost thousands of dollars. On the contrary, press releases allow organisations to reach a vast audience via news sources without any fee for publication. Therefore, using press releases means saving a vast amount of money to invest elsewhere.
b. Positive impact on the audience
Press releases can create a great impact on the audience, and usually it is positive. This results from the fact that the information from the press release reaches the audience through the mass media, not the organisation itself. Then, if the audience members are loyal readers of a newspaper, or loyal viewers of a TV channel, they are likely to have good impressions on the news. Press releases package information in an accessible manner for news sources to convey to their audiences. It also creates a favorable image of a company or an organisation in the eyes of an audience, especially when the press releases are publicised by well-known newspapers, such as The New York Times, or television shows, such as CNN, etc.
A press release differs from an ad in that a news release is first sent to the publications without any payment. It means that the writer of the press release does not control the message in the newspaper, but rather the editors do. This results in the impartiality of the information; thus, the news is reliable. In contrast, advertisers control the message because they have to pay a large sum of money to have it appear in newspapers or television shows. It is common knowledge that advertisers often use exaggerated words to talk about their products or services. As a result, the audience trusts information given by the mass media whereas they do not believe advertisements much. Undoubtedly, press releases hope to inspire news articles that bring more credibility to the company's information.
d. Effective method to deal with bad information
When a company faces bad press or public criticism, dealing with it is a thorny...