On My Soapbox: A Press Release Is Not PR

So many people think they know what public relations is and what it is not.  They think that a person who can write a press release is a PR professional.  Add a little bit of smooth talking with that and they believe they have found the golden ticket to superstar success.


  1. A press release is a tool used to help promote [insert your person, product, place, thing ... or whatever here.] Having a well-written press release is nice (we will talk about the well-written clause here in point number 3, but it doesn't guarantee that what you are promoting will get featured in the media (traditional or social). The lesson. A PR professional that charges you to write a press release isn't a professional; they are a crook.
  2. A press release without an angle is even worse.  Many times people write a press release and blast it out a million media contacts.  The release announces the start of a business or talks about this "revolutionary new product that wil ...", but what does it really mean for the target publications' audiences? What is the news for their audience? The lesson. Distributing information via the media is called media relations.  A trained and talented PR professional will work with you to develop key messages and angles for your media campaign. The campaign will work toward the same result - promotion of your thing using the media - but it will be distributed to targeted media with a tailored angle.
  3. A poorly written press release is death. The lesson.  See the sentence before this one.

The lesson. A press release is not PR.  A person who offers to write and distribute a press release for you and charges you for it is not a PR professional; they are a crook. 

*drops mic and gets off soapbox*