12 Days of Data 2022 Day 6: Press Release Statistics

12 Days of Data 2022 Day 6: Press Release Statistics

Introduction

Welcome to the 12 Days of Data 2022 Edition, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2022. We’re looking at the year that was (and oh, what a year it was, something we’ve been saying for three years straight now…) from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year. Sit up, get your coffee ready, and let’s celebrate some data and look forward to the year ahead.

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Press Release Statistics

On the sixth day of the 12 Days of Data, we dig into the press release, or news release. How many releases happened in 2022? What did they accomplish? Thanks to the Google News database and the GDELT Project, we are able to read all the press releases in 2022.

Key Statistics

This year, we extracted 295,773 news releases from the Google News database.

Press Releases Per Year

When we dig down to the monthly level, we see that we’re on pace hold either level with the previous year or perhaps even have a slight increase:

Press Releases Per Month

Unlike the late 2010s, it seems that press releases in this decade are holding relatively steady.

What can we tell about the importance of press releases? How impactful are they?

Releases by Goldstein Scale

We see that press releases generally have Goldstein Scale scores at 3 or below; on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is completely unimportant and 10 is major news, news releases still aren’t showing up as particularly important compared to other news.

Let’s take a look at the measures of relevance – the number of mentions, sources, and articles that press releases have been in.

Releases Measurements

What we find is that the average press release earns 6.3 mentions, 1 source (the publication it’s published in, usually), and 6 articles/prints of itself; the median numbers are lower.

What do we make of this data? Each individual statistic isn’t particularly helpful by itself, but in aggregate, this paints a picture of a very changed public relations profession. It would appear, at least in terms of volume, that press releases aren’t particularly noticed as news by other sources.

Key Takeaway

Press releases and news releases still have a role to play, especially in highly-regulated industries. Financial services and investment firms subject to rules such as SEC Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) still hold the newswire release to be the gold standard of acceptable public disclosure; while the SEC ruled that social media was an acceptable form of disclosure in years past, the nature of social network algorithms could potentially imperil that ruling in the years to come. If you have news to distribute that requires public disclosure in a time-tested (and more importantly, court-tested) manner, use a press release.

With major disruptions in social media, such as the change in management at Twitter and the subsequent erosion of trust for the service, if you want unimpeachable public distribution of news, use a press release.

However, for other forms of outreach, do what many PR agencies have done and pivot into social media, influencer marketing, and content marketing. These channels tend to offer more reliable results, especially at a time when traditional news media outlets are shorter-staffed than ever before. Getting information out to customers, prospects, and the general public has never been simultaneously easier and harder; easier in that there are many more channels to choose from, and harder in that there are so many channels, it’s hard to find the right one for your audience.

Methodology

Trust Insights used Google’s GDELT news service to extract 295,773 news releases published in 2022. The timeframe of the study is January 1, 2022 to December 5, 2022. The date of extraction is December 7, 2022. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

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