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“The press release is dead,” some say.

Well, calm down.

Businesses will have to issue official statements to the general public in the future, too. Neatly packaged information (aka “content marketing“) is great, but businesses must also keep their audience up to speed with what’s going on.

However, there are two common public relations practices for press releases that drive me crazy.

Here’s what you should never do:

Bad Practice #1: Mindless Distribution

There’s nothing wrong with creating a not-so-interesting press release and adding it to your online newsroom (like Mynewsdesk). Even though it might not be interesting to anyone outside the organization, these types of press releases add up to your brand’s timeline and progress. Like milestone markers, of sorts.

But here’s what’s driving me crazy:

  • Why on earth are so many organizations going out of their way to distribute these press releases outside of their online newsroom?
  • Why are they trying to get these texts in front of people who, if they were interested, would come to your site looking for the information?

Not only does promoting these press releases cost real time and money, but they also tend to irritate the recipients, too1. This spray-and-pray tactic is potentially causing more harm than anything else.

The solution:

Upload your press releases to your online newsroom and be done with it.

Bad Practice #2: Vague Call-to-Actions

Imagine someone seeing a link to your press release on LinkedIn — it could happen, right? Then imagine how that person decides to click over to your site to read your press releases all the way through to the end. Such an individual are apparently actively interested in what you have to say, which makes these people a high-value public. Awesome!

But here’s what’s driving me crazy:

People who read your press releases from beginning to end are obviously important. So what call-to-action (CTA) are you offering to this exclusive group of individuals?

“For more information, please contact…”

I swear a kitten dies every time …

More information about what? If something is missing from the press releases — why isn’t it included? And why are you trying to move me away from your website and over to phone or email?

The solution:

Include a clear call-to-action at the end of your press releases. Tell your reader why they should get in touch and explain what’s in it for them if they do. (Anyone who reads your press releases all the way through deserves it.)

How do you feel about press releases? Please share in the comment section.

Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash.


  1. Publicly traded companies in most countries must distribute any new information via press releases to a variety of news outlets.