Do Press Releases Still Matter?

The press release used to be the bread and butter of many public relations professionals. At its best, it could be an art form unto itself. At its worst, it could be… boring. Today the press release is another tool in a growing communications toolbox that includes things like social media, content marketing, company newsletters, live streaming video, influencer marketing and much, much more. Each of those channels, when used well, has the potential to reach far more people than a single press release, although few achieve all the same goals. Do press releases still matter today? Absolutely, but they have certainly changed.

What Is A Press Release Anyway?

Not too long ago, a reporter could stroll over to the newsroom fax machine (yes, fax machine) and pick up a stack of press releases to search for an interesting story that day. The fax machine may be gone (they’re gone, right?), but the press releases keep coming by email, wire service, LinkedIn notifications or press release distribution services. The delivery may have changed, but the format of a good press release has basically remained the same.

So what is a press release? For the most part, think of it as the formal voice of your organization to the outside world. It’s where you announce significant news and other developments, but it should also be where you continue to communicate your core values, mission and key messages throughout every communication. 

Announcing a new CEO? Sure, the press release is about them, but it’s even more about who your organization is or aspires to be. Celebrating an award? Great! Celebrate, but also make sure to communicate how that award connects to your other strategic goals. Sharing news about a new product, program or other initiative? The press release you share should also talk about how that next step moves you forward as a company toward achieving your vision.

Yes, there are standard press release styles, forms and formats, but the press release itself is a communication about your organization, your work and your goals at a given moment in time. You mark that time by putting it up on your Company News page, sharing on social media and sending out to possibly interested reporters and editors who might find what you’re doing interesting as well.

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Who’s Going to Read Your Press Release Today?

Let’s be clear. Press releases are not only written for reporters and news editors to read. In fact, early on in my public relations career I had a frantic conversation with a colleague who wanted to quickly send out a press release about an upcoming event. The thing is, they didn’t want the “press” to attend. That left me scratching my head for a moment and we ended up finding a better solution, but they were not entirely wrong. With so many layers of communication that can be included in a single press release and the nature of it being broadcast widely as a company communication, each press release must be written for a wide and very diverse audience.

In some cases, a company today may not even distribute a press release directly to the news media. They’ll post it to their news section, share on social media and email it to their core audiences. If a reporter picks it up too, great, but their main audience might be their customers,  employees, board members or even potential investors. 

Long after that press release goes out to the media, it will stand on your website as a chronological record or mile marker for others to see what you have accomplished. Consider that for a moment. When you think of a press release as a kind of historical document of your progress, it will begin to shape how you write each release, what you include and how you begin to measure your own growth and progress.

A Modern Press Release Strategy

Now that we have a broader perspective of what a press release is and the role it serves, let’s look at how it can fit into a modern press release strategy. Which audience is it written for and which goal does it hope to achieve? The answer is all of them. A successful press release strategy includes a great many different kinds of communications with different goals, but they are all integrated so each connects to the other. 

There are major press releases that mark significant moments in an organization’s growth. Then there are less significant releases that maybe serve as a way to stay on the radar of interested reporters, even if they’re unlikely to write a story about that specific topic. For a successful strategy, though, all of those different types of press releases should be identified, categorized and when possible, added to a calendar so you can begin to see how they all fit together with every other form of communication you’re creating. And most importantly, each and every press release should be seen as an opportunity to speak about the values and goals of your organization as well as where you are going.

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Media Relations Specialist and Fall PR Intern! 

Media Relations Specialist

The media relations specialist should possess superb project management and organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

To ensure success, media relations specialists should demonstrate fantastic time management, great creativity with a keen interest in creating and implementing cost-efficient and effective media campaigns, as well as effectively analyze the impact of campaigns on the company’s bottom line.

By assisting the team in the execution of client activities and learning the basics of services offered across all areas of the agency, the media relations specialist will play a crucial role in supporting client service teams. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Develop content for broadcast, print and online distribution channels to include press releases, media advisories, blogs, e-newsletters and website content with limited supervision.
  • Negotiate with media channels to close competitive deals.
  • Serve as the agency’s media liaison and formal spokesperson, and effectively place client messages and spokespeople in target media outlets.
  • Scan the media marketplace to keep up-to-date on the latest media trends.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop.
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. 
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Monitor all campaigns, and report on results.
  • Build long-term relationships with media houses.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.

 

Fall PR Intern

We’re looking for a resourceful go-getter who enjoys fast-paced work in an agency environment and is eager to learn the ins and outs of public relations, media relations, social media management and content marketing.Our team members are expected to complete high-quality work, juggle multiple tasks, keep projects on track, and be accountable for results. The right candidate will be a motivated problem-solver who will thrive in a deadline-driven environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Writing for social media
  • Posting to social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Creating Canva graphics
  • Brainstorming/Researching Ideas
  • Logging media clips
  • Assisting with video production and Facebook lives for clients
  • Building media contact lists
  • Uploading content to content management sites for clients
  • Assist with client events
  • Media Relations outreach
  • Attend internal meetings and potentially take notes for client meetings
  • Assist with office errands and organization
  • Assist with general project management and scheduling

What We Want:

  • Experience with writing/posting to social media sites and using Canva is preferred.
  • Experience with photography and/or video creation or production is a plus.
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Organized and able to prioritize work under pressure
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • You are resourceful.
  • You are humble.
  • You know what needs to be done because it just comes naturally.
  • You are accurate with an attention to detail.
  • You follow instructions.
  • You have a life outside of work that you love and nurture.
  • You love learning new things.
  • You ask questions when appropriate and know how to Google the simple things like your life depends on it!
  • You treat our clients and your team members with respect.
  • You are funny.
  • You are caring.
  • You are a good friend and co-worker.
  • You are creative and think of brilliant ideas in your sleep.
  • You are resourceful. It’s so important that we’re mentioning it again!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position