A press release, press statements, media statement, news or video release is a recorded or typed communication that is directed towards the members of news/media companies. The aim is to release something newsworthy, usually with the intention that it be passed on to the public through them.
The new online generation has created websites that have changed the way that PR updates are submitted. The field has been leveled for the smaller businesses by the creation of fee based press release distribution services. These will use wire services and free website services to create and publish a press release. These companies will hold onto the businesses press release and make it more available and prominent to the public. They will make it more easily searchable and prominent on web searches.
Public relations rely on press releases. Normally the aim is to gain attention for a client or company, whom need to raise public awareness of either themselves or their product. A press release will give reporter, publishers and news dealers enough information to create a news story. A PR update may be a lot of things, and basically encompasses anything of which public attention may wish to be drawn. This can be things like events about to take place like weddings or marketing events, it can be news items like a political figures wife being pregnant. A press release may just be a personal promotion, or an award. A PR piece may revolve around a new product, service or scheduled company sale as well as other financial information that may interest investors. They may even include accomplishments, like a company becoming more eco-friendly or a celebrity doing a charity event. They are sometimes used as a way of creating a feature story or be preparation for a news conference.
The manner of press release distribution is up to the individual, the company, pr agency or the distribution company its self. When a distribution agency is used they will often know the best methods of distribution due to their previous experience in the field. They will also be better able to take advantage of certain avenues of press media. One example is with the internet. The websites search position can be manipulated by the company so that the news is available first to the target audience. When it comes to other avenues, they may better know what times to advertise such press releases on mediums like the radio or TV. They will also know which reporters and publishers to call if the release warrants larger commercial attention.
Sometimes a PR article is released early and then embargoed, this is the process of letting news agencies know something but then asking that they do not release the information. This happened not that long ago when Prince Harry of the UK was flying helicopters over Afghanistan. The royal court had contacted all of the news agencies and told them where he was, but asked that it was not released as it would threaten the lives of serving soldiers. They told the media so that if they sent investigative journalist to hunt down Harry, that there was no chance of his military service being advertised or released. This would essentially stop them sending journalists, however a member of the paparazzi released the information and Prince Harry was called home.