Internet has changed the way news is sourced. In fact, the number of news sources has significantly increased. This is due to advancement in technology that has given public relations a new face. Availability of interactive websites such as news sites, news aggregators among other specialized news sources has changed the way press releases are done. Notably, there are commercial based press releases where a certain fee is paid such as wire services as well as free based websites. In this case, news release and coverage is becoming more affordable and convenient (Dominick, 2012). Through these websites, company’s news is made more prominent as well as easily searchable by its users.
Traditionally, public relations practitioners were responsible for attracting the most convenient medium for their client’s press release. Moreover, PR agencies were responsible for controlling the timing for press release. Print media was commonly used. Indeed, media houses could get a preview before the actual release (Kelleher, 2007). It is evident that press release was the most convenient mode of availing information to the media houses and eventually to the public. This is because there were few methods of delivering news to the target audience. As a result, they relied on press releases from; prominent individuals in the government, head of departments as well as company managers. However, with the increased use of internet, individuals, government, corporations have their own sites where journalists can easily get the information they require (Dominick, 2012). Companies and individuals have developed their websites where they update information making it accessible by members of the public. Virtually, people hold press releases when the information is already available in their sites. Indeed, internet is becoming more effective. This is due to the fact that most areas around the globe have accessibility to internet from computers as well as from other devices such as mobile phones (Dominick, 2012). It is feared that in the near future, people will prefer to use internet to print media or any other source of news. In this case, important people update their information as well as release information related to a given phenomena on their sites (Kelleher, 2007). This implies one does not to have to directly address journalists while releasing statements.
As stated above, public relations practitioners are barely using print media in the modern society. On the same, press release has ceased to completely depend on print media. This has culminated into the use of internet as the most convenient medium of releasing news. However, people should not entirely depend on the internet as the only mode of acquiring information. Notably, professionalism is normally practiced in print media than on internet. In print media, news has to authentic, balanced as well as accurate (Dominick, 2012). Therefore, internet might not be a reliable source of news compared to print media. The use of internet has led to availability of information that is not suitable for public consumption due to lack of gate keeping. For this reason, companies and individuals are able to release information of their interest. Some have been able to create a negative image for others while praising themselves. In the light of online effort by various news agencies, it is important for organizations and government to ensure information released to the public is accurate (Kelleher, 2007). Even if press release has diverted their course from print media to internet, information released should be scrutinized.
In conclusion, press release has taken a new course in this digital age. However, gate keeping should not be ignored. This is important to ensure that online news is authentic and accurate. Some PR practitioners have ceased playing the middle role and have also gone online where they post information on behalf of their clients. In such scenarios, they should also scrutinize the information. Media transition has reduced the course of press releases due to the increased use of internet.
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