Is PR dying or just different?

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When you think of a ‘PR Strategy’ what comes to mind? Writing and distributing press releases to any and every journalist you have on your list/distribution via a newswire?

Stop! It’s not working and it’s likely it hasn’t been for 12 months or more.


There are fewer journalists and more businesses competing for their attention.

Add to that the lack of time these journos have (to read page-long releases) and the way they prefer to search for their news – bite-sized pieces of content online, and it doesn’t take long to realise that PR as we know it is dying.

So, what do we do?

This week I’ve spoken with a few PR companies that specialise in retirement and aged care. They all shared my above sentiment and explained that the key to “modern PR” is trust and relationship building. They gave me a few do’s and don’ts.


  • be those guys who distribute a generic press release to an entire database
  • waste time with multiple versions of press releases, instead – focus on establishing a couple of good angles and pitching these to good contacts
  • publish press releases online thinking they will have SEO benefits – they won’t


  • have a good understanding of the media you are contacting, and the types of stories they publish
  • customise your angle for each individual media and pitch it via a phone call
  • gain the journalists’ trust – establishing strong relationships with the media is key
  • aim to become the “industry expert” in a chosen field. The goal is to have the media coming to you.

Historically, the strategy of distributing an ad hoc press release to an entire database or via a newswire has been effective, however this is not longer the case. Modern PR is an ongoing effort with a focus on establishing your spokespeople as industry experts.