Ad Age Dubs the Press Release Dead

Did you hear the sad news of the day? It may come as a surprise, so you may want to sit down: The press release died today.

I know, it may be too much for those journalists out there wanting to read more structured quotes or for those PR folks who love to spend their time typing away, forming a release that very few will use. But according to Ad Age, Twitter killed the press release. I just knew you couldn’t trust that bird.
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“The long-suffering, much-maligned press release, I’d argue, finally died this summer, thanks particularly to JetBlue and BP, with a little moral support from Kanye West and just about every other celebrity with thumbs,” writes Simon Dumenco for Ad Age.

He points to the inability of BP to release its news on Twitter and Jet Blue’s reluctance to quickly respond to Steven Slater’s airplane slide-ride on the social media site as proof people want to hear from the Twitter account more than the typed, formatted and approved release.

This seems a little like pulling the plug before the patient has quit breathing to me, and Dumenco points out that the press release will continue in “zombie-like” form for years to come. But do most reporters out there check the company’s website first or its Twitter feed? Would PR folks prefer to get the message out there quicker on Twitter than write up a release? That, to me, seems like the best test.

The release may be on its last legs, but you can’t call it dead quite yet. After all, it’s difficult to get scoops via a public tweet. But posting that press release first can land a number of hits – and isn’t that the most important stat of all?

Photo by dgj103