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Another Call to Kill the Press Release

About once per week, someone says, types, or thinks that the press release should just go away. Elasticity’s Aaron Perlut has taken to Forbes’ website to rail against the poor, beaten down press release, saying it’s outdated and “should be put out of its misery.” But didn’t a press release just generate a world of buzz for one creative PR pro?

True, this was a stunt. But the idea that press releases serve no purpose or no one pays attention isn’t entirely true. People ignore bad press releases – subject lines that don’t catch the eye, text that never clearly explains what exactly is being announced, bad quotes that tell you how excited people are. There are also press releases that don’t announce anything newsworthy. Even a good press release can’t save a bad pitch.

We appreciate press releases that clearly and quickly explain why you’re contacting us and what’s interesting about this news. A (short) video, slideshow, or other multimedia component to drive the message home is fine as well.

Perlut goes on to talk about successful alternatives – a quick e-mail to notable news outlets or HARO, for example. We’re cool with that and we can’t argue with success. Ragan.com also recently posted a list of press release alternatives that includes tweets, your own blog post, and an SMR. And just this morning, we received a link to a white paper from Thomson Reuters that offers tips on press release SEO, including using Web analytics to measure a press release’s SEO, a good idea for seeing what works and what needs work.

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