It’s 2006. Facebook is new to the market, and Twitter has just been founded. Social media is still a relatively new tactic in public relations, but Tom Foremski argues that press releases are dead.
Fast forward to today. It’s 2017. Facebook draws 79 percent of internet users. Instagram draws 32 percent and Twitter 24 percent. Social media is an integral part of all public relations strategy (if not, what are you even doing?), and I argue that press releases are not dead at all.
Tom said that, in 2006, press releases were dead because of their production value.
Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus. They often contain praise from analysts, (who are almost always paid or have a customer relationship.)
He’s not wrong about that; however, how else did he expect organizations, corporations and agencies to disseminate their information? Social media surely was not a very trafficked possibility. Print journalism was still highly respected, and internet media was still developing.
Press releases in 2006 were certainly not dead.
And to an extent, they’re not dead today either. They have simply taken on a different facade.
Press releases have assumed the form of a punny Instagram caption. They’ve assumed the form of a stunning Facebook photo and a compelling story that goes with it. They’ve assumed the form of a well-thought-out, 140-character message.
Tom Foremski was way off the mark in 2006, and 2017 attests to that. Press releases might not be what they used to be, but they’ve been adapted by the best of the best to find the most suitable audiences and consumers.
Read Tom’s post and let me know your thoughts: www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2006/02/die_press_relea.php
Statistics on social media usage: www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/