Despite Drawbacks, Press Release Wires Still Offer Benefits to Media Relations Pros

Uploading a press release to a distribution service used to be an almost-automatic part of the communicator’s job.

However, as information channels expanded to email, social media, brand newsrooms, podcasts and livestreams, communication professionals are asking two related questions: ‘Is the press release dead? And, if so, what’s the value of press release distribution services?’

The recent 2021 Muck Rack State of Journalism survey offered an unequivocal finding: nearly all journalists (94 percent) prefer pitches via one-to-one email (see table below).

And just fewer than 20 percent of the 2,500 journalists surveyed want a mass email pitch from a brand or company or an email from a press release service. Almost twice as many (37 percent) said they dislike pitches via mass email or press release wires.
The Best Way to Pitch?
Based on these data, press release distribution services should consider closing shop. Purely as a pitching tool, the mass-distributed press release may have lost its relevance for communication professionals.

Joanna Drabent, CEO of Prowly, a media relations software provider, voices a majority opinion when she says personal media outreach remains the best way to pitch.

“Manual PR outreach allows for a personalized approach, providing the journalist with news that is not only relevant, but valuable,” she says.

“It is more time-consuming [for the media relations pro], but it definitely increases chances of getting media coverage that’s actually valuable...

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