The answer is… you’re asking the wrong question. In fact, you don’t need a press release to secure great media coverage.
The cost of writing a press release is one of the top searches when it comes to public relations.
Depending on who you ask, it could take $1,000 or it could cost you $7,500 (here’s BusinessWire’s take), depending on the time involved. And this doesn't factor in distribution via a wire service or PR firm.
That distribution and intended use of the press release is what you want to focus on, not the release itself.
If you’re sending out a press release via a wire service to add SEO value, that’s one thing. And depending on who you ask, that may not be as relevant as it used to be, at least according to these experts.
Good PR people know press releases are just tools and sometimes, unnecessary ones. We have one client, for reasons we cannot discuss, that does not issue formal press releases. That hasn’t stopped us from securing great media coverage for them in outlets such as CNET and Engadget.
How did we do it? We emailed particular reporters that cover this client's space relevant info (about four paragraphs) and a JPG of their in-store marketing collateral, and then let the story go from there. There wasn't a hard sell on our part because the story didn't warrant it. It was relevant to the reporters and they ran with it. Was it as groundbreaking as the iPhone 6z (Disclosure: We have no idea if there is an iPhone 6z on the horizon or not ;-)? No. But our news was relevant enough to warrant some great coverage on two outstanding news leaders in the tech space.
Getting back to the earlier question, and presumably how you found this post, are press releases worth the cost of producing them? The answer is that it depends on the release and your needs.
We also recently had a client in the New York Times, stemming from a press release we sent to a reporter. The release itself focused on trends and issues in their field and how our client could help. We didn’t use an excessive amount of buzzwords or over-the-top language to intrigue the reporter. Instead, we presented the facts, recent and timely developments and information how our client is working in this new situation. We didn't call our client "the best" or "the most innovative" or "paradigm changing". Instead, in the release, we presented the issue, recent developments and one way our client is contributing in a positive manner. The release was written in about three days (including client edits), sent to a reporter on a Thursday and we received interest the following Tuesday. The story ran about 10 days later.
The secret to securing great news coverage isn’t a killer media list or over the top press release. Simply put, it’s reaching out to the right reporters with a story idea relevant to their coverage topic.
Sound confusing? It really isn’t, but we’re happy to talk if you’d like to discuss more. You can reach us here!
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