By Rosalia Scampoli, Ragan’s PR Daily

Is the press release an antique?

In this age of digital media where most news is gathered from the internet, it can be easy to assume that distributing your company’s news via social media alone is adequate — but news distributed solely on social media may not get the attention it deserves.

This is not to downplay the power of social media, but for many companies, social media channels may not be enough to deliver important messages to the right audiences. A press release not only validates online content, it can serve other purposes that a brief social media post cannot.

Once upon a time, a press release was the main tool of corporate communications, particularly for B2B companies. The release was distributed by a paid newswire service and coverage could be reasonably expected, at least in within the appropriate trade media circles. Today, however, some companies may not even consider a press release when distributing a corporate announcement.

That is a big mistake.

A press release — properly crafted and appropriately distributed — can support your company’s news and views in a credible and targeted way that reaches key audiences with messages that matter to them.

If done correctly, a press release can achieve the following:

  1. Help populate search engines with credible and focused messaging on your company and its announcement.
  2. Provide strategic context for your events or news that can facilitate conversations between your company and its customers.
  3. Provide proprietary content to bring visitors to your website to find out more about your company and products.
  4. Serve as a tool to update your clients, prospects and industry peers on your company and its momentum in the space.

Besides the usual press release topics — new hires, transactions, product launches, etc. — you can use a press release to demonstrate your company’s market and product expertise, market positioning and competitive differentiators. Consider:

  • If you have data or research, you’re ahead of the game. Market and industry data is valuable. If you have solid, credible research, you can use your data to fuel an aggressive media outreach campaign via press release.
  • A strong point of view sells. If you have a strong or contrarian point-of-view on a current issue within your industry and how it impacts your audience, your views can be a strong foundation for a fiery press release.
  • Timely company updates and reaching milestones showcases a company’s strengths. Updating your audiences on the health of your company by announcing your achievements can support your company’s brand, reputation and positioning.

Social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter have their invaluable place in the modern communications mix. Technology and social media have changed the way companies are doing business, both in how they obtain clients and how they disseminate of information.

However, don’t throw out the old just to run with what’s new; you could be leaving money on the table.