Because the rules for relating to the public have changed so slowly over the past ten years (since the Web has allowed people to read press releases directly), practitioners who learned based on the old rules have been equally slow to change. In fact, most old-school experts have refused to change altogether. It is time to step it up and consider the promise Web 2.0 public relations holds.
Today, savvy marketing professionals use press releases to reach buyers directly.
While many marketing and PR people understand that press releases sent over the wires appear in near real-time on services like Google News, very few understand the implications for how they must dramatically alter their press release strategy in order to maximize the effectiveness of the press release as a direct consumer-communication channel.
The media has been disintermediated. The Web has changed the rules. Buyers read your press releases directly and you need to be talking their language.
This is not to suggest that media relations are no longer important; mainstream media and the trade press must be part of an overall communications strategy. In some businesses, mainstream media and the trade press remain critically important and, of course, the media still derives some of its content from press releases.
But your primary audience is no longer just a handful of journalists. Your audience is millions of people with Internet connections and access to search engines and RSS readers.