As we live in an era dominated by social media, digital marketing, and 24/7 news cycles I’m often asked if the traditional news release is still relevant for associations as a means of disseminating information to key stakeholders.

Some may argue its relevance is diminishing, overshadowed by the immediacy of digital platforms. While others – including me! – contend that news releases remain vital tools for effective communications for associations.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the evolution of the news release and examine whether or not it is becoming passé or if it still holds value in this ever-changing landscape of information dissemination.


Digital Communications Dominance:

The advent of social media and online news platforms has undoubtedly transformed the way information is shared both internally and externally within an association. From breaking news on social media platforms to in-depth analysis on blogs, the digital age has given rise to a myriad of alternative channels for communication. Some argue that traditional news releases, with their structured format and controlled messaging, struggle to compete with the speed and accessibility of these new mediums.

But I still believe the traditional news release still packs a powerful communications punch. It’s an ideal way to ensure consistency of messaging when delivery news, event updates or any other type of association information that needs to reach a wide audience.

But given there are always two sides; let’s break down the two schools of thought on news releases and see if one argument is strong than the other.

The Argument for Passé:

  • Speed of Information: Information travels at lightning speed today. News releases, with their formal structure and approval processes, may seem sluggish compared to the real-time updates provided by social media platforms.
  • Direct Engagement: Social media allows for direct engagement with the audience. Association Boards, staff and members can communicate in real-time, fostering a sense of immediacy and authenticity that traditional news releases might lack.
  • Visual Appeal: The rise of visual content, such as images and videos, is a key component of digital communication. News releases, primarily copy heavy, may struggle to capture attention in a landscape dominated by visually appealing and personalized content.

The Argument for Essential:

  • Credibility and Authority: News releases are crafted with precision, presenting information in a formal and authoritative manner. This structured approach can enhance credibility, as the information undergoes careful review before release.
  • Archival Value: News releases provide a documented and official record of important announcements or events. This archival value is crucial for historical context, legal matters, and reference purposes.
  • Controlled &  Uniform Messaging: In an age where misinformation spreads rapidly, news releases offer a controlled messaging platform. Associations can ensure that key points are communicated accurately and without distortion.
  • Targeted Distribution: Unlike social media, which can be a chaotic and crowded space, news releases allow for targeted distribution to specific audiences. This ensures that the intended audience receives the information directly.


Compelling arguments on both sides, right? Are you swayed?

As a former journalist turned marketing communications professional, I’m still on the side of the news release being a valuable communications tool and one that I don’t think will go out of fashion anytime soon.

Why? While the digital age has ushered in new ways of communication, it is premature to declare news releases as becoming passé. The key lies in adapting and integrating traditional methods with contemporary practices. Combining the speed of digital communication with the precision of news releases can create a powerful and comprehensive communication strategy. In essence, news releases may be evolving, but their role as a valuable communication tool for associations is far from over.