Can the same thing be said of Press Releases? Yes, but their fate is worse because PRels cannot be sold the day after. Old news is just that. So given that PRels have less value the day after, why should companies, even old stalwarts like MS that typically send out from 3 to 5 missives every day, bother to put out a PRel?
Many reasons, all of them obvious. One less apparent reason for sending out PRels may be one of the best, if not the least considered.
Press releases serve as a running commentary on your company, marking milestones, shedding light on the past, creating a historical portrait into a collective whole that gives coherence to the present. We can look back and marvel at what transpired over the past year (or years). There certainly is value in an archive of press releases, so keep putting them out.
I am kicking myself for not being more insistent – I am never insistent with clients: I make my case and if Mr. Client doesn’t accept my case (what do I know, after all, after doing this for 20 years?) then I let the case drop. But in this case I wish I had had more nerve. The client was invited to speak at a conference. His first. A big deal for a small company. Always issue a PRel if your exec is invited to speak publicly. If you want to consider yourself expert, then you must show the world you are an expert. And one needs to keep proving to the world that you are indeed an expert. Repetition is good.
Here are my new rules on this topic:
1) PRels are not sacred cows. Treat them like Kleenex. Use many, then toss aside.
2) Find ways to leave the Company out of the picture; make it secondary.
3) Say something that is Not about Yourself
4) Take a survey and publish its findings
5) Boldly announce a position. To have a position you got to take a position.
For example: Websense did a brilliant PRel this month when it issued one with the headline: “Five Security Predictions for 2011.” The media world responded, showering it with attention. Bravo.