The Importance of the Press Release

As communications veer ever-toward the digital, you may find yourself wondering, “Do I really need traditional public relations? What value is there in an ‘old-fashioned’ press release?”

Let us ask you this, are you more likely to believe it when a stranger says, “I’m the best Hula Hooper in the world,” or when the New York Times writes an article saying, “Stranger is the best Hula Hooper in the world”?

Getting the news about your company published by a third party gives your story credibility, but how do you get your story to the media?

Press releases.

According to the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey, 90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week and 80 percent turn to a company’s newsroom (where your old press releases should be posted) when researching an organization.

90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week

Photo via Business Wire.

Not only do you have to write the press release and get it to the right contacts within the correct outlets, but more than half (54%) of surveyed journalists were more likely to review a press release that includes multimedia than one that does not. With such a strong bias by the media for releases that contain images, it is important to note which multimedia elements are preferred.

journalists like multimedia in their press releases

Photo via Business Wire

Photographs (73%) lead the way, with graphics (43%), infographics (32%) and video (27%) also following closely behind.

Journalists like photographs the most.

Photo via Business Wire.

Once your press release goes out to the appropriate media, it should be available within your organizations’ online newsroom. Press releases (88%) remain one of the most sought after content types within a newsroom and 52% of journalists asking for at least one to five years of past press releases and 27% preferring the complete historical archive, according to the Business Wire report.

Journalists research organizations using the company's online press room.

Photo via Business Wire.

The power of the press release is that it is the most valuable tool you can give to journalists, the gatekeepers of the media. You know that your organization is newsworthy; press releases are the way to get it out there.

And guess what? Press releases are one of the most traditional pieces of public relations.

The Wrong PR Move: Beyonce’s “Beyhive” Upset at her GMA Announcement

Recently, Beyoncé appeared on a very-much hyped segment of Good Morning America. Promos of the appearance emphasized her message’s importance to fans and that they were going to “love it”. Many fans thought Beyoncé was going to announce tour dates, a new pregnancy, or something show-stopping.

 

Instead, fans were disappointed to hear that her announcement was about her vegan diet she adopted four months ago and about her new 22 Days Nutritional Plan.

 

Some fans were outraged and took to social media outlets like Twitter to vent their opinions on her announcement.

Bad Twitter responses to Beyonce GMA announcement .

 

Some blame Beyoncé for all the buildup for such an anticlimactic message, while others blame GMA for their promos due to the fact that they knew what she would be announcing but decided to over-sell her message. Could all the fault be put on GMA? Or could the Beyoncé camp be part to blame? Without a  doubt, her message brought plenty of awareness to the vegan lifestyle as a whole, making her vegan fans happy, but it also brought media attention to her new plant-based 22 Days Nutrition Plan she, her husband Jay-Z and her trainer Marco Borges teamed up to create.

 

Beyonce and Jay-Z 22 day nutrition program plant-based diet

Beyonce and Jay-Z take part in 22 day nutrition program. Image via www.22daysnutrition.com.

 

The announcement was more than likely supposed to spear-head a movement amongst her massive number of fans to embrace her nutritional plan, but instead it seems to have backfired. While some fans may indeed choose to follow in her footsteps, many other fans are outraged and feel as though Beyoncé has somewhat tricked them.

Could this hurt Beyoncé musical career? Could this become a great tool to organize a nation-wide vegan movement? Or could this end up being a small footnote in music history and soon to be forgotten? We’ll have to wait it out and see how things unfold in the coming weeks and months.

#CharlieCharlieChallenge

Have you heard of the #CharlieCharlieChallenge that overtook social media the past few weeks? It’s a challenge that mixes childhood superstitions of “Bloody Mary” and the Ouija board to summon a Mexican demon named Charlie. It might sound a little ridiculous, however, that didn’t stop the phenomenon spreading across social media.

How Does It Work?

According to the Huffington Postcharlie4-3

“Take a piece of paper and draw a single horizontal line and a single vertical line that meet in the center. Put a “YES” in two opposing sections and a “NO” in the other two. Place two pencils across the middle of the drawing in a plus-sign formation, with one balanced atop the other so that it can spin.

“Ask aloud, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” or “Charlie, Charlie, can we play?” and the top pencil will likely move at some point because of how it’s balanced. However, some players believe it’s a sign that “Charlie” is in the room and ready to take questions.”

Consequences:

Some people became genuinely scared, recounting stories of hauntings and attacks by demons. The torment is especially awful if one stops playing without first asking “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” without getting a “no” in response.

The challenge trended on Twitter and Instagram almost immediately, with many posting videos and photos of their results.

The_Gallows_PosterTerrifying as it was, it seems this trend was just a giant marketing campaign for a new horror movie, The Gallows. The movie is about a boy named Charlie who was killed during a high school play. Years later, the high school tries to honor Charlie by recreating the play. A few students decide to break into the school at night in an effort to stop the play’s production; to dire consequences. The #CharlieCharlieChallenge is featured in one of the movie’s scenes.

While the #CharlieCharlieChallenge was a smart marketing move, generating conversation and action, it was also incredibly terrifying. I’m sure many more movie theatre goers will be seeing The Gallows now!