The Internet has commoditized the news release.
Unfortunately, many companies missed the memo.
As noted in a previous post, the three largest news release distribution services (PR Newswire, Business Wire and Marketwired) sent out roughly 642,000 news releases in 2013 or 1,759 news releases per day. Figuring 10 man hours per news release at $175 per hour, and you’ve got over $3,000,000 being plowed into news releases on a daily basis.
As a service to the PR industry to reduce the amount of dollars earmarked for ignored news releases, we created a test that starts with a simple question on PR storytelling:
- Will anyone care about this news release?
Remember, if you don’t answer this initial question honestly, you’re only making things more difficult for yourself.
Click on image to enlarge.
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.ishmaelscorner.com/2014/04/17/finally-a-test…a-news-release/" title="Hoffman Agency Infographic- a Test To Guide the Actions and Storytelling Behind a News Release"><img src="http://hawebpage.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/04_22_press_release_final_ORIGINAL.jpg" alt="Hoffman Agency Infographic- a Test To Guide the Actions and Storytelling Behind a News Release" width="467" height="1024" style="border:none;" /></a><br /><small>The Hoffman Agency is a public relations firm that emphasizes storytelling in <a href="http://www.hoffman.com">business communication</a></small>.</div>
With Google taking away the benefit of link building through syndicated news releases last year, you can no longer rationalize news release distribution as an SEO tactic.
And if journalists aren’t going to care about the news, why fork out the money for distribution? To pacify internal stakeholders with a wrap-up report highlighting syndicated coverage in “powerhouse” media properties like “Wrestling for Working Moms.”
Even if some find that it works today, it’s not a sustainable practice. At some point, those stakeholders are going to wake up and realize the few people reading “Wresting for Working Moms” do not purchase object-oriented programming tools.
The news release distribution services absolutely have a place in the PR world. It’s a matter of identifying the announcements deserving of this treatment.
Consider one final question:
- If a news release falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?