The VO Blog

Public relations: is the press release dead?

Posted by Chanel Heeren on April 17, 2018
Chanel Heeren

As a publicist, writing press releases are in our blood.

pressrelease-vo

 

It’s a fact to say that pros in PR can write in our sleep and in any given situation, you’ll find us brainstorming crafty story angles about any topic.  

Firstly, let’s discuss how PR can help a business.

On one hand, you can’t get a more comprehensive marketing campaign and brand management anywhere else.

On the other hand, professional PR services can sometimes be costly and they might not be suitable for all types of clients and start-up businesses. 

VO aims to cater for all our clients’ needs, hence why we’ve developed a press release template tool on our website that you can easily submit your information into and we compile and distribute a release to the media.

PR is a great way to create and implement organic marketing and advertising plans that bypass traditional strategies, allowing to put your brand front and centre.

Think about any brand you have come across, and sure enough it was a PR company that put them there!

PR companies focus heavily on your target market.

PR companies work behind the scenes to get the job done.

Rather than spending a huge budget and casting the net wide, we maximise every possible channel and hone in on the most appropriate avenue to specifically target the right audience.

To talk about PR as an industry we’ve noticed it is evolving as we speak and the traditional style press releases are no longer the norm.

How relevant is a press release in today’s media world?

Times have changed since the days of faxing a single release to a journalist and waiting to see whether your pitch was picked up by the media.  

The rise and oversaturation of social media means that tactics are changing and today’s more modern take on PR is introducing creative techniques to grab the media’s attention.

 

More than ever we need to implement creative and slick approaches to our media outreach. 

That’s why when we email journalists, we develop a creative or unique angle that’s eye-catching and essentially entices the journalist to respond back asking for more details or information.

We create attention-grabbing pitches that get clicked on. Without doing so, the emails just get lost among the thousands of other emails that floods their inbox each day.

To be fair, we still use press releases as the bones of what we are wanting to say.

Often, a press release is combined with a personal pitch to give it some newsworthiness and most importantly, a nice personal touch.

Press releases have been used for over one hundred years and there’s no doubt it is a useful tool in marketing and PR but it’s not the only way to gain the media on your side.

At VO Group, we are always thinking creatively and finding out-of-the-box ways to stand out from the crowd – but we still like to maintain our exceptional level of work and professionalism.

A few strategies we like to use for our clients is incorporating video in various channels.  

A video release or using a video in the email pitch is a sure-fire way of gaining a journalist’s attention.

The video can discuss anything relating to the product or brand, so long as it is factual and engaging.

We like to use videos that show a person that represents the target audience using a product.

Videos are an engaging way to tell your story and ultimately give a more personal touch and the journalists will thank you for not sending boring long worded emails!

Another strategy we like to incorporate is utilising attractive visuals.

VO Group is a creative agency and that basically means we are constantly exposing our creative energy.

Using visuals and images is a proven way to engage the viewer which piques their interest a little more than just general text.

By adding some beautiful images to the pitch creates a positive spin and will give you more leads than you may expect.

Another strategy that works quite effectively is social media campaigns through engaging people successfully.

Social media is meant to be social (hah!) and getting more people talking means that more people are exposed to you.  

Releasing news via established social media channels can be very effective and opens the conversation to press, the media and of course your consumers.

Therefore, the more people are talking and interacting on your social platforms means the more people trust your brand or product.

PR is a specialised branch of marketing and communications and the age of the hard selling is over!

A new era of relationship building has begun and it’s the most important element of customer relations.

This new marketing era is fresh, exciting and gives smaller brands a chance to gain early traction and doing things out of the ordinary will help you stand out.

Our words of advice, don’t be afraid to do something daring!

Don’t worry- VO have been practicing what we preach. If you don’t believe us, check out our media mentions page where you’ll see our placements we’ve garnered for VO.

Topics: public relations, pr, press release

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