Getting Your News Out: Alternatives to a Traditional Press Release

So you’re sitting in a conference room talking about an announcement your company needs to make, you say, “We need a press release!”

Wheels are set in motion, someone on the team takes on the assignment, and now your team is crafting something to send to media before you’ve even decided if it’s the right approach.

News releases were once the go-to tool for PR professionals needing to share news about their client or organization. In today’s media landscape though, things have changed. News releases still have a role, but they aren’t always the best method for getting the word out.

Getting someone in a newsroom to read an entire news release – is a tall order. And sometimes, those people in the newsroom aren’t your target audience. You need to customize your message – and the way you deliver it – in a way that really works for the story you’re trying to tell.

Here are some examples of what you can do instead of a press release to get your news out:

  • A well-crafted blog post: Because they inherently are a media tool, news releases need to follow a just-the-facts, news format. Great for journalists, but not the most exciting piece of content for other audiences. Blogs, however, can be much more conversational and reflect your organization’s brand. They are also a great way to link to related content on your site for folks to learn more about your business. (See what we did there?)
  • Infographics: Have a lot of data to share? Maybe you’re better off investing your resources to develop an infographic to explain your news. Not so sure? According to, searches for infographics increased 800 percent between 2010 and 2012 – and there’s no doubt that number has only gone up since then.
  • A video message: Between our smartphones, tablets and computers, we’re watching more video than ever before. A well-shot video message not only can quickly explain your announcement in a way that’s quick and easy for your customers, it’s also a great way for your CEO or other spokespeople to get on-camera experience in a comfortable setting.
  • A simple pitch or media advisory: And if the media is your target, sometimes you don’t need a full press release. A short and to-the-point pitch is what most reporters prefer. Do yourself a favor and save the time writing a release and do some necessary research on your media list. Your newsroom contacts will likely be appreciative you took the time to reach out to the right person.

While news releases still have their place, businesses no longer need to maintain such formal standards when making an announcement. The key is knowing your audience and how they prefer to receive news about your company – and being flexible to change things up from time to time. After all, different news calls for different measures!

Looking for help getting your story out in the right way? Let us help.

Megan Irvin

Megan spends her days doing media relations, community relations, content creation and events for clients like Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Virginia Distillery Company and Mercy Chefs. Her favorite part of her job is working with clients and providing strategic counsel — and garnering media attention for clients in outlets like TODAY, Esquire, USA Today and Bon Appetit.

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