This news item / press release arrived in our email inbox yesterday morning. It’s one of a dozen or so that come every week. As every news source does, we assess them for relevance, currency, etc. and decide to or not to publish them. News releases differ from advertising, which is purchased from the news source, in that news releases are free.
Lots of websites detail the hows and wherefores of writing and distributing news releases. Here’s a fairly basic one: How to write a press release.
Media sources reach specific audiences; some reach more than others. Important to remember when sending news releases is to send them to all media sources that are consumed by the senders’ potential Customers. The objective? To get your message distributed to as many of your targeted audiences. The medium is not the message — the medium delivers the message.
Media sources may include traditional media outlets — “hold-it-in-your-hands” newspapers; free-distribution publications, sometimes called shoppers; television; radio; billboards; the entity’s Website; online publications (Columbia news, views & reviews and Columbia Spy are examples); directories (Chamber guides, telephone, bridal, auto and so many more); billboards, announcement boards and banners; church bulletins; direct and personal sales programs including door-to-door and telephone calls; email-blasts; direct mail and, yes, some people might consider social media (facebook; reddit; snapchat, pinterest, et al) as media sources.
Virtually all major corporations, institutions, for-profit and not-for-profit entities and governments will have a single-source information provider — someone who is the defined, official information provider.
How do people find the correct, accurate information?
In government that role is held by the Public information officer(s). These persons are communications coordinators or spokespersons of governmental organizations (i.e. city, county, school district, state government and police/fire departments).
“Public information officers are government employees responsible for creating and enabling communication between the government organization and both the news media and general public.
“These communications officials tend to work in the upper levels of an organization, at all levels of government. Divisions within government organizations such as police and fire departments may have their own public information officers distinct from those that serve the rest of the agency.
“It’s up to these officers to make sure any statements released to the press and the public follow agency guidelines, are accurate and are in keeping with official policy or laws. – The Balance
Citizens, visitors, stakeholders and the general public best are served when there’s singularity of message intent, purpose, dissemination using all applicable media sources. A unified, accurate and authentic message inspires trust and consistency while eliminating confusion and uncertainty.