It's More Like Court Ordered Custody Than an Affair

By: Suzanne McGee, Account Director (@mcgeepr)

Andrew Fowler’s recent post about press releases caught my eye. “PR’s love affair with press releases,” outlines his concerns about the massive number of press releases posted and distributed every year. Fair enough to call out numbers and question the need, but he leaves out a couple of factors.

  • Public companies are required to distribute releases about material news. This doesn’t mean that every release goes over the wire, but if it’s something that will affect the share price, they must disclose it. Combined New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have more than 6,000 public companies listed!
  • PR people do push back on releases, but have to write ‘em and distribute ‘em as per a client’s request. Often there are political reasons or some executive wants to have his or her name appear on the web. These reasons don’t always seem sound, but not everyone may have the background info to call it.
  • Hey, sometimes we aren’t even writing them. A number of my clients have in-house writers who crank these out.

While, yes, writing releases and pitching them are usually billable time, solid PR firms don’t make money off of the actual wire distribution. The debate over releases won’t go away, but it’s important to realize that they do have a place for many companies.

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