Are Press Releases Effective During Session?
There is one tried-and-true communications method that has stood the test of time: the press release. From elected officials to major corporations — press releases are still commonly used to spread awareness and issue comment. But are they always effective? And how best can they be used during a legislative session?
A Unified Message:
It should not be understated that press releases are helpful in getting key players on the same page. The sheer act of collecting comments, agreeing on a release date and approving of the final product clarifies core messaging and timing for your spokespeople and elected officials. It can be used as rubric for press conferences, talking points and testimony.
What Reporters Want:
A well-written press release is a wonderful resource for reporters. It has the key information about a bill or topic, supplies quotes for print (and Tweeting) and identifies a spokesperson that TV journalists can call up for an on-camera interview. If you want to get credit for a legislative initiative, issuing a press release is a great tool.
To be effective during a legislative session, you need to anticipate when reporters will be covering the story: perhaps it’s discussions about legislative priorities, a response to breaking news or the coverage of a bill — it’s important to issue your press release before they finish writing. In legislative politics, you can often prepare a press release in advance and leave some blanks to fill in at the last minute.
A New Era:
It’s 2023, and social media is a major part of all communications efforts, so a press release should never stop at just an email. Repurpose your release: share the link on social, break it into individual Tweets, pull quotes out and repackage them as eye-catching graphics. You’ve got your core message — spread the word widely!
Press releases continue to serve a vital purpose and are one of the most professional ways to release news-worthy information. And with these tips in mind, they can also be amazingly effective for elected officials, organizations and the Capital Press Corps.