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The press release isn’t dead

ap style

By Tiffany Deluccia

The press release isn’t dead. How do I know? Here are a few reasons:

-- Reporters still ask me for them when we’re discussing a new product, event or program.

-- The news media routinely have to dig for the facts amongst the fluff they receive each day. Last week, a reporter told me over coffee that a true gem in his inbox is a news release written the way he would write it: Interesting, straightforward and free of slant.

-- Journalists still have to file their stories to AP style standards written in inverted pyramid format.

Sure, we all know “news” is evolving. Reporters now write blogs, tweet links and share photos on Instagram. They craft stories about the most popular viral videos of the week and the kid on Vine with a million followers. Traditionally print publications are now producing video for their websites and publishing “From the Web” columns in print. I get it. Times are a-changing.

But, I might argue, that they still write news stories. And if your brand has real news to share, you just might want them to write news stories about you.

I’m a proponent of brand journalism, social media (when strategic) and reinventing the ways we get our messages out. People really do want more video and brief, ‘skimmable’ content.

But to say the press release is dead? That claim can’t be made by anyone who talks to the reporters I talk to.

One more thing: I am a proponent of writing better news releases, ones that are written like a news story, get to the point and leave the brand fluff behind.

Maybe the press release will die, and maybe it will be soon, but for now, let’s not kid ourselves by trying to force journalists to see subpar content as source material.