Press releases are inextricably linked with PR – despite the fact that they are most often used as a publicity and promotion tool [there is no intent to use them to develop relationships with an audience – not even the media]. Press releases can – and, arguably, should be a valuable part of a small business and startup PR toolkit but they must be done properly.
Rather than trying to communicate every feature and function, make wildly overoptimistic claims or tell the world about a minor point release, find one thing that is likely to start a dialogue between your organization and the intended audience. Rather than using one release and sending it out to everybody, develop multiple releases that communicate the most important piece of information to a specific audience.
The press release should be the start – or continuation – of a relationship building process; too often it is used with the intent to get press coverage and most miss the target by a wide margin.