The press release has traditionally been a vital tool in the announcement armory of the IR professional. But with the rise in social media, where does the traditional press release sit within the importance of IR announcements?
Mark Dowd, managing partner at Forefront Communications, a New York-based boutique marketing and PR firm specializing in capital markets, is in no doubt. ‘Press releases are more important than ever,’ he says. ‘Given the proliferation of social media and industry news aggregation sites, many announcements will be posted and shared, which allows you to communicate directly with your audience.
‘Also, with editorial staff having been cut so dramatically over the last 10-15 years, journalists are thinly stretched and consequently much more likely to lift out significant portions of your press release verbatim.’
Given both trends, Dowd stresses the importance of the language used in any release. ‘It’s imperative that your release be clear, concise and free of hyperbole, at least if you want it to be of value to those reading it,’ he says. ‘Ask yourself: are you avoiding excessive jargon and writing in plain English? Is there any context necessary for the announcement to make sense? Have you anticipated any logical questions a reader might have and answered them?’
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