As I finished up a release for class last week I wondered if it was always a must for PR professionals then I came across an article on prdaily.com that answered my question. There are alternatives to press releases if it is ok with your client or boss. The article goes on to list alternatives that PR professionals should be using. Press Release Alternatives
The first alternative includes a pitch email. Organize your pitch in the form of a story and utilize bullet points that emphasize the most important details you want the reporters to use. Before you send the pitch you need to google your reporter your sending to ensuring that they still work for the publication and making sure that the articles they have written before fit into the same genre as yours. Then you should write a short paragraph telling them you have read some of their articles and explain why your article will fit their genre. Make the rest of the email persuasive so they will want to use your pitch and write a subject line that is an attention getter.
Another alternate way was to make a website posting similar to a blog post using story telling language.
Sending tweets and Facebook messages was also recommended. With facebook messages a link or photo should be included in the message and with tweets if you don’t get a response you should follow up with an email pitch.
The pitch email sounds similar to a media advisory to me but I think that it will be useful in the future. These alternatives may not be the best for all situations and I don’t think they should be overused by professionals because it may question their credibility, but they do seem to be a little easier and take less time than a release does. I think that it is important to have alternatives because not only do releases get tiring for a PR standpoint but journalists and reporters more than likely get tired of reading them all the time. These alternatives are also important because they use computer mediated communication which is becoming the most popular tool for professionals to utilize while working together. Relationships are easier to build through computer mediated communication and that is what PR is all about right? These alternatives are creative yet strategic and should be used to a PR professional advantage.