Thursday, May 24, 2007

You say press release, I say news release

Is it just me or is the term “press release” woefully outdated?

Add to that the terms “press conference”, “press pass” and “press box” while you’re at it.

The notion of the “press” evokes the notion of print media exclusively, at least as far as I’m concerned.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re already well aware that today’s media encompass much more than the traditional notion of the printing press.

Of course, there are the television, radio and other more conventional electronic media. But then there is the growing social media phenomenon which includes blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and flickr to name just a few.

So why can’t we seem to buck this trend in the PR industry of using an old-fashioned term like “press release”?

The more accurate terms, as I see it, are news (or media) release, news (or media) conference, media pass and media box (although whether or not people actually work in a "box" these days is a completely separate issue!).

Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s just a bad habit – but in my opinion we need to reflect our changing industry in the terminology we casually toss around in our workplaces and PR classrooms.


Gary Schlee said...

It's not just you, Kerry. Perhaps it's just a PR professor thing, but I ranted about the very same thing earlier this year when I bemoaned the launch of the Social Media PRESS Release. Even its creators started to back off that terminology, but it persists. Now that media releases are also targeted to bloggers, podcasters and the general public, the myopic use of the word 'press' is even more bewildering.

Of course, my rant online and my slant in the classroom aren't likely to change things. But it did garner me an interview on the subject on Eric Bergman's Media Relations Matters podcast.

Kerry Ramsay, Professor said...

Thanks, Gary. Glad to know I'm not alone!! I read your blog often and enjoy it very much. Looking forward to meeting you in real time at Centennial next week!