The Press Release: A Conversation

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Press Release BlogThis week we released an innovative update to our text analytics platform, Salience 6.1. It was a very exciting moment for us over here and we really wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. So, we revved up our PR engine and lo! A press release was born. But, why? That’s what AJ Bruno over at TrendKite is asking. The old press release can feel a bit out of place in this world of 24-hour news entertainment and unrelenting streams of social media. “[Press releases] don’t usually have a compelling hook that would make someone want to share it with their friends and colleagues.” Says Bruno, “People don’t like to share boring content, so a formal press release is not a great fit for social networking.” However, we still see press releases popping up as a PR theme every day.

“On the whole, we think that well executed press releases still have a role to play,” continues Bruno in the TrendKite post, “but as a support for a larger content marketing and PR strategy rather than as a substitute.” Like everyone else, Lexalytics also uses a wide array of tools for PR. But the press release continues to be a meaningful utility to ensure the facts are kept straight. This more than anything was the motivation behind the first every press release back in 1906. Ivy Lee, who is considered the father of public relations, was asked to council a troubled railroad facing public backlash in the face of a fatal derailment. He urged them to release an official statement to the public to avoid rumors and speculation. It worked and the press release was invented.

Press releases do more than just lay out routine facts, though. Each one serves as a time capsule that not only help a company tell their story but also allow customers and other professionals a glimpse into the company’s past. Despite this world of constantly shifting and evolving media the press release has proved useful for over a hundred years.