What Is The Value Of A Press Release When News Stories Are Written By AI?

Many readers know that I recently moved from Macon, GA to take up a job in Colorado. Even before I moved, I was astounded by the number of articles that were being written about Macon, encouraging people to visit.  I kept asking what Visit Macon, the convention and visitors bureau was doing to encourage all this coverage which included Frommers, Southern Living, Yahoo! Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, Bloomberg, Men’s Journal, INSIDER, CBS This Morning, and The New York Times. For a time I thought it was the ghost of the effusive vice president of sales and services for Visit Macon who died in September smiling down on the city.

As you might suspect all this success was the result of the work of a PR firm, TK PR. The folks from Visit Macon recently posted a newsletter piece from TK PR trumpeting their success promoting Macon. One thing that grabbed my attention was that they had gotten eight stories for Macon in 2022 resulting in 678 million impressions and $6.2 million in value at the cost of $0, plus 29 other stories for additional clients without once using a press release.

In the newsletter, TK PR founder, Taryn Scher, challenges readers to do away with press releases in 2023.

And while I can’t tell you in just a few sentences what we did to land each story, the one absolute thing we didn’t do to land any of these stories? Send a press release.

Y’all I hate to tell some of you this: but press releases died with the fax machine. If you are one of those few people who still relies on either, I’m sorry but I’m here to tell you it’s time to come on over into 2023. It’s nice out here. A little tech-heavy but we’re all adjusting.

Seriously though, you have to stop thinking that a press release is going to land you any sort of real quality media coverage.

Noting that CNET and others are publishing stories written by AI, she implies that living beings may no longer even be looking at press releases any more.   In this context, she suggests that waiting on someone to approve a quote that will appear in a press release is likely going to be a waste of your time.

Among the things to do instead is pitch the story directly:

That’s not to say the information isn’t important- but you need to take that who, what, when, and where and make it relevant to WHY NOW- why is this part of a bigger trend or relevant for the current news cycle? Why should a journalist care? And more importantly why will their readers care?


About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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