The press release 100 years old

Via the India PR Blog I notice that the press release supposedly turned 100-years-old on October 28.

“On October 28, 1906, at least 50 people lost their lives when a three-car train of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s newly equipped electric service jumped a trestle at Atlantic City, NJ, and plunged into the Thoroughfare creek. 

That afternoon, Ivy Lee, who some consider to be the father of modern PR, created the first press release. The Pennsylvania Railroad was one of his clients. Following the accident, Lee not only convinced the railroad to distribute a public statement, he also convinced them to provide a special train to get reporters to the scene of the accident.”

About time then that this communications channel evolved a bit. The PR agency SHIFT Communications initiated a discussion around the development of a “social media press release” this summer. The thought was that the press release should be re-designed to fit the new social media/web 2.0 environment. I am sure we will continue to see interesting developments regarding press releases and other PR tactics. For PR practitioners, these are exiting times.