Are press releases still useful?

press release, future of PR, PROnce upon a time before starting The News Funnel, I launched and ran a successful PR company, Beckerman PR. After spending almost 30 years creating content, I have written, edited and seen as many press releases as most people will in a lifetime. The press release itself has not evolved much since I started my career in the late 1980's (yes, I am that old!). It’s gotten a bit shorter, it’s now optimized for social media, and it’s even gotten a bit less rigid thanks to the tech sector. Take the recent press release announcing Yahoo acquiring Tumblr as an example of a PR with a twist of original candor. But has it really evolved that much? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

But everything around the PR has evolved. Attention spans are shorter, news is mostly consumed electronically, and thanks to Twitter, people are consuming things in bite-sized bits.

I honestly think it’s time to rethink our beloved press release. Is anyone reading them all the way through? Are any media pubs actually running them, besides of course The News Funnel and a few others?

I have some ideas, which we will roll out soon at The News Funnel. What are yours? How should the press release evolve?