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My colleague, a former journalist, and I are having a heated argument about press releases.  I have noticed, being back on the communications side of things after a several-year absence when I was  focusing on strategic Marketing responsibilities, that few major companies regularly issue press releases related to their product or brand news.

I believe that there are several reasons for this, but that the situation is reversible.

I see a huge change in the media that has resulted in decentralization.  Fewer editorial desks handing out assignments and fewer reporters on the floor.  I note a decrease in full-time permanently employed journalists corresponding to more freelance writers.  And there are many journalists who cover more than one “beat”.

The advent of bloggers has resulted in a whole new category of media with large spheres of influence that has developed outside the traditional information channels.

Social media has also contributed by providing alternate ways of communication to consumers that bypass media.

It seems that the process of sending out a press release hasn’t changed much at all, which means it’s a service, but not an accessible one.

And, sending out a press release has become very expensive.

I believe that if an alternative was provided that made sending out press releases efficient, easy, accessible and low-cost, like mononews that this trend could be reversed.

My colleague doesn’t agree.  He thinks the press release is becoming extinct.

I’d appreciate it if you can weigh in on the matter:

Do you still send press releases?

When and why do you send them?