Is the Press Release Dead?

In an article on the Advertising Age website, writer Simon Dumenco claims that the press release is quickly becoming a public relations tool of the past. What is its replacement? The tweet, or Twitter. Dumenco argues that we have come to expect news from celebrities and major companies via Twitter, which has made the press release obsolete. He cites recent incidents with Jet Blue, BP, and Kanye West, ultimately determining that these events officially killed the press release (RIP The Press Release). As you can imagine, I was slightly disturbed by this article. Is this writer telling me that the many press releases I’ve written in my PR classes were a waste? Yes he is. Do I agree with him? Not in the slightest. It has become commonplace for Americans to expect news and updates via Twitter. However, can a 140-letter tweet really tell an audience everything they need or want to know? Of course not. Rather, these messages offer links to websites, articles, and (drumroll) press releases. I do think, though, that Twitter has become a necessary informational tool in PR. Ultimately, Twitter has bolstered the use of press releases, not eliminated it.


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