One of the large press release newswire issued a survey in which media chose email as the preferred method to receive press releases. Really! This newswire regularly distributes more than 500 releases per day, so we are to believe that journalists want to receive 500 emails a day from anyone!
The fact is email has become irrelevant in press release distribution for various reasons, the number of media has shrunk over the years and the number of releases continues to be thousands a day from all the wires. Most large newswires have media database research teams and there are some media data vendors but at the end of the day, in the US there are about 300,000 media contacts available from any of the databases. But the point is every database has the same 300,000 media contacts – there are no more.
You can slice them and dice them, break them down by beat, by type of publication, by region and in any way, you want. The number of releases is just too large for mass email to be an effective distribution method. In the case where corporate communications professionals that have personal relationships with media or they have identified media that follows companies then its fine but otherwise, it’s just hard to believe there is any value in mass email press release distribution.
I recently wrote about the relevance of media in the press release distribution process questioning if media should still be the focus of distribution and offering a process to reach audiences directly as the option. Last week we ran an AdRelease ™ powered by Google for a drug maker and we achieved 140,000 views and over 5000 clicks – the drug maker chose the geographic and demographic targets and we delivered the audience. When was the last time a press release got these kind of audience numbers – once again, maybe if we are talking about Apple’s earnings.
The other factor is cost. My prediction is that the days of charging for 400 words and additional charges for every 100 words, adding 50 words to every release to make sure it goes over 400 words and charging for images and links are counted – but then I also think that providing editorial services to professional communicators is a shame when they should be qualified to use a SaaS platform, format and spell check their own releases.
Overall the fact is the press release distribution business has not evolved much over the years and its begging for technology changes and ROI upgrades. The industry has undergone a huge M&A transformation the last few years leaving a hand full of players and the cracks are beginning to show, two weeks ago NASDAQ put out a release seeking parties interested in acquiring Globe Newswire. The strange thing is Globe bought Marketwired earlier this year and they have not even finished integration and already its up for sale.
At the end of the day change is good and the beneficiary will be the press release distribution users that can expect to see lower prices and higher ROI.
You can see more about the AdRelease™ powered by Google at www.icrowdnewswire.com