The death of press release distribution services: the expert’s view

The press release distribution service sits in an odd place within the world of communications. 

For a journalist, wires can highlight stories from abroad, or from niche industries that wouldn’t normally be on your radar but turn out to be interesting. However, getting the balance right is difficult. Signing up to receive email alerts opens the door to a flood of unrelated, badly-pitched releases. It’s a tough call.

For a PR, these wires are a reliable way to send out the releases that might appear dry, but your client insists on putting out – or need to be for financial reasons. You still need to write the story well, and tag properly, but it’s a quick and painless way to get the word out.

However – as Google alerts, social networks and online communities grow in strength and accuracy when sourcing stories and building relationships – what becomes of the wires? Do they become less important? Do they cease to exist?