Last year, I wrote that news embargoes were dead (If News Embargoes are Dead, What about Press Releases?), but that I didn't think press releases were dead.
I still think they're not dead.
Instead, there's been talk that they have or should evolve.
Most of the press releases I see online are not Web 2.0-type releases. I have not asked BusinessWire, PR Newswire or Marketwire if that fits with what they've been seeing.
Marketwire, which has improved its reporting capabilities (with more improvements due shortly, they tell me), doesn't make it easy to distribute a Web 2.0-type release. I think BusinessWire makes it easier to do so.
There are more channels by which to get out an organizations' news, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., but I still think there's a need for press releases.
There's a good article on press release basics, "Anatomy of a Pitch-Perfect Press Release," from the Sept. issue of New York Enterprise Report, a very good service-journalism magazine that's aimed for small businesses in New York. The article even includes a good illustration of a basic press release -- which is actually useful to me right now because we've been asked to write a press release for a client's partner, and that partner has never issued a press release before. This illustration at least will help them understand some key terms like biolerplate. The article also contains the "10 Golden Rules from the Experts." And, unlike the 10 Commandments of Social Media, which changes depending on each organization, these are pretty good commandments.
On the other hand, if you think the press release is dead, let me know. Of course, if you do, I think I know who killed it.