Press Releases

  • February 1, 2016
  • Scott

Alexander Muse says your startup should never issue press releases.  He gives some great reasons why you shouldn’t.

  • Press releases rarely get written about by journalists.  Because they are rarely even *read* by journalists. 
  • Massively successful startups apparently never issued a press release (Twitter is the given example, I haven’t checked to see whether it is literally true or not).

He then goes on to give great advice for how to foster a relationship with a reporter who will (hopefully) write the kind of story you want them to write. Of course a warning label should be attached to this: reporters write what they want to write, you can’t really control that.  You can only do your best to get them interested in the perspective you are trying to share.

I think the crux of the “don’t do press releases” advice though, is the idea that your goal is to get journalists to write about your company, leveraging the information in your press release.  I think outside of a major event like a merger, acquisition, or fundraising, that’s probably unlikely (and then it would depend on your company as well, and how much other noise there is going on at the moment). 

But there’s another reason to do a press release:  so that other people in the “channel” get the news.  For most companies a press release will have a wider reach than a blog post.  Possibly more reach than the local paper. Press releases often show up on linkedIn or get reposted in minor news sites.  This isn’t big-time news coverage, but if you’re trying to reach an audience in the business world, people connected to you via social media (twitter, linkedin, facebook) are likely to spot it. 

Think of it as a post on LinkedIn or a post on Medium.  You’re trying to tap into different channels.   And sometimes your own team likes to see you crow about a win.



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