Communication media has been completely, forever democratized and, because people are the prime participants and content creators, it has earned the title “social”. But if people now own the media and share each other's content, who is a media or “press” release for in 2011?
Traditional media belongs in an integrated media landscape in which the social communication between people is the nucleus. So a media release, the titan product that the last century’s Public Relations sector once crafted as the central asset in getting a message out, makes as much sense now as a horse and buggy based transit system.
There are still some audiences you may want to reach who may still wish to receive media releases - and if you have one, they want it. But traditional media is not the kingpin it once was and the source and flow of information has changed. Traditional media outlets now turn to people on social networks for their story ideas and resources.
The media or “press” release is dying as the press itself becomes diminished. Neither will die completely. But the media outlets that people are listening to are listening to people and the media release has become largely irrelevant. Traditional media are still part of the mix but they don’t even do it that way anymore.
Write your media release if you know your audience relies on it. But don’t expect the same reach and impact that it once had.
Be social. Connect with people. That's what the "press" now does.