There's nothing like a press release to spark a debate. But how is that great warhorse of communications being used in 2017?
by Dan Slee
A few weeks ago I blogged about press releases and asked people to educate themselves as to how effective they now are.
In a digital landscape, the 300-word missive in crisp journalese is now one arrow in a stuffed quiver, was the thrust of the piece. Often, it is demanded. But I’m convinced that your job as a comms person is to see how effective they are.
The response? Marked. Indignant people spoke in its defence. It remains the cornerstone, they said. Others, saw that other tools were often more effective and it was no longer the ‘go to.’ The Model T Ford of the comms armoury.
But in 2017, how are people using it? A quick un-scientific surveymonkey showed that people were keen to have a say… almost 250 took part.
Press releases remain… for the significant things
It’s clear that for the big set-piece announcements a press release is still part of the furniture. The survey said that 97 per cent issued such a text for something significant. In itself, that’s significant.
But press releases are phasing out for the less significant
Asked whether they are being used more, less or the same, the answers showed a clear path.
Half – 52 per cent - are using press releases in the same number but 44 per cent are using them less and a trend-bucking four per cent are using more of them.
They remain part of the comms mix
Almost averyone thinks that they should remain as one the parts of the comms mix with 95 per cent agreeing and three per cent disagreeing.
I don’t disagree with that. It is no longer the only show in town. As ever, the right channel in the right place for the right audience.
That’s where we are, how are people consuming the media?
Of course, a snapshot of where PR people are is only part of the picture. Where are people? Research from Ofcom shows that people spend around eight hours a day consuming the media. How much time is spent consuming newspapers print and web? Fifteen minutes.
I’ve blogged that newspapers – or should I say media organisations – have a future. But the 15 minutes figure is striking.
Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0.