A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. Commercial press release distribution services are also used to distribute them.
The use of a press release is common in the field of public relations, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention to public relations professional's client and/or provide publicity for products or events marketed by those clients. A press release provides reporters with an information subsidy, containing the basics they need to develop a news story. Press releases can announce a range of news items such as: scheduled events, personal promotions, awards, news products and services, sales and other financial data, accomplishments, etc. They are often used in generating a feature story or are sent for the purpose of announcing news conferences, upcoming events or change in corporation.
A press statement is information supplied to reporters. This is an official statement or account of a news story that is specially prepared and issued to newspapers and other news media for them to make known to the public.
The first modern press releases was by Gabblet agency was working with the Pennsylvania Railroad at the time of the 1906 Atlantic City train wreck. Ivy Lee and the company collaborated to issue the first press release directly to journalists, before other versions of the story, or suppositions, could be spread among them and reported. He used a press release, in addition to inviting journalists and photographers to the scene and providing their transportation there, as a means of fostering open communication with the media.
Technically, anything deliberately sent to a reporter or media source is considered a press release: It is information that has been released by the act of being sent to the media. However, public relations professionals often follow a standard format that they believe is efficient and increases their odds of getting the publicity they desire. The format is supposed to help journalists separate press releases from other PR communication methods, such as pitch letters or media advisories.