A press release is a document sent out to the press or other media setting out what its authors would like others to read or hear about. Earlier press releases were sent by hand delivery or post to newspaper offices. Today most are sent by fax.
The press hand-out or press releases is the chief way in which a business organization can transmit news to newspaper and magazines. Unfortunately most press releases are so badly drafted that they end in the wastebasket, without being printed. If the press releases are prepared with a little extra care are effort they would find their way into print and perform the very useful function of communicating news and information about the business organization to the public. It should be remembered that a press release is not a advertisement. For an advertisement the company has to buy space. A press release is information that is printed by the newspaper by way of news on the ground that this information will be of interest and value to the reading public. No doubt a press release does indirectly give ‘publicity’ to the company and it should be noted that this kind of publicity, that comes in the form of a short report in the regular columns of the newspaper, is far more effective than a full page advertisement inserted at great cost in the same newspaper. This is because while people suspect the claims made in advertisements, by tradition they expect newspaper reports to be objective and informative.