#8: Are we at the end of the press release era?


Ah, the press release. For many it conjures images of typewriters, word processors, fax machines, and other “Mad Men”-era technologies employed by companies to disseminate announcements to media recipients.

Yes, the press release was once the primary method to reach reporters, and a critical source for reporters covering a company, campaign, or issue. In the last decade, however, we’ve witnessed a tectonic shift in the way companies deliver newsworthy content to the media and public. Similarly, reporters attempt to look beyond their inboxes jammed with press release emails to find compelling stories and content. Press releases were essential when the flow of information could be so tightly controlled by the entity “announcing” the news, but today the pressure is to be “live” with your news across as many platforms simultaneously as possible.

As PR Daily asked earlier this year, “Why is the old press release losing importance so quickly? The answer is simple: The vast majority of its recipients can’t be bothered to read it.”

So, do press releases have a future? As the always trusty magic 8 ball might say: “Ask again later.” One thing is certain: the format must change with technology. With news today so often broken on social media, on mobile, on video and through other innovative formats, these platforms are becoming the “new” megaphone for news. Press releases must adapt or die.

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** This Post is part of our “Next Stop, 2026: 10 Communications Trends for the Next 10 years.” To read the full post – click here. **