PR Notes- Media Alert vs Press Release…Today’s PR Landscape Requires Different Tactics

We’ve all read stories regarding the impending “death” of the traditional press release.  I personally have NOT sent a press release to a media contact to garner attention for ages.  That being said, I believe the press release remains a valuable tactic for additional target audiences.  In the case of a local TV station, these include viewers, donors and corporate sponsors.

Consider a recent experience.  The launch of a new public affairs program on a local TV station.  The management has an objective to increase awareness and visibility of public affairs programming among local media.  The first panel discussion will focus on the next moves from both sides on Gay Marriage in Washington State.

Do you issue a press release or media alert?  I recommended a short media alert with a news hook of “Sneak Peek” at next moves from both sides of debate.  The media is focused on “what happens next.”  If they know that some of the major players are to debate the topic it may compel them to attend or watch the program.  The alert also included information on panel members, the new show and future topics.  It’s been my experience that editors won’t read a traditional press release and/or write about a story using it’s content.

I also recommended a traditional press release to announce the new show for the news section of the website, e-newsletter and social media pages.  This way target audiences can learn about the program and receive additional details and verbiage not necessarily of interest to media.

The bottom line is that dual audiences require different tactics.  The PR landscape is constantly changing.  The strategy of one-size-fit-all is a thing of the past.