Social Media’s Pull on Breaking News

What’s happened to the outdated press release and how it’s changing with the rest of our world.

By: Erin Morey

In the world of Public Relations, it’s been a practiced tradition of writing and printing press releases for most of, if not all of our work. For those unsure, press releases are the official statement of news that’s given to a news outlet or journalists with information on a certain matter. They encompass the major details of breaking news in the publicity world. How do you know when the book you’ve been waiting for will come out? Or if the author is doing a reading, and where? That’s all information that’s broken down within a press release, and because we so kindly hand that information off to journalists and media outlets, that’s how it reaches you.

But what does it mean to lose such a solid form of communication within the public relations world? If you’re looking at it through my eyes, you must be thrilled. Losing outdated forms of reaching cliental is thrilling; when you change how you function parallel to how the rest of the world is changing, you make your business marketable and adaptable.

According to Forbes, it’s now being considered a waste of time to bother writing a physical piece to hand out to news outlets in the hope they pick up your piece and run with it. Those in the world of public relations are being encouraged to embrace new and adventurous ways of spreading news, with a heavy emphasis on social media. Could that be how we hear of breaking news next? Via Twitter or Facebook? The remarkable part about that hypothetical question is that for some, it’s already true. More and more social media outlets are including news features, much like Twitter, which has a section of the site dedicated the breaking news. For many, much like myself, this is thrilling news. With more options given to reach an audience, your tools and application of style to how you choose to release your news are endless.

In a statement from Meltwater)  “Not all news is hard-hitting enough for media coverage. By publishing updates directly to buyers, investors and other stakeholders, businesses can take a more targeted approach with their messages and contents. They also make their news available to bloggers and other influencers that might not be captured through their traditional media relations program.” This alone could be the most beneficial tactic we look at when it comes to our audience; social media is focused on updates, and if that’s what will carry news in our world today, why not run with it.