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News Release vs. Press Release: What's the Difference?

News releases and press releases might sound alike - but their definitions are a bit different.

A news release typically covers events that are currently happening or have already happened.

A press release usually covers something that has yet to happen and is focused on specific developments related to a company/organization - such as upcoming product launches – and is tailored to journalists.

While both are tools public relations and investor relations pros use to share important stories, the choice between a news release and a press release depends on what type of information you want to share.

Keep reading to learn more about their differences (and see real-world examples).

What Is a News Release?

A news release communicates important announcements to the public and covers current or past events. They have a broader scope than press releases, and their audience isn’t just journalists and media outlets.

News releases can be shared a variety places – such as a company’s website, social media channels and even newsletters.

When Should You Use a News Release?

News releases can cover a wide range of topics, including community events, organizational news and public service announcements.

Let's check out some examples:

  • Industry Insights: Companies might issue news releases to share insights into industry trends, market analysis, or research findings and position themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

  • Crisis Management: In times of crisis, companies may issue news releases to address the situation, provide accurate information and demonstrate transparency in managing challenges.

  • Legal or Regulatory Compliance: When complying with legal or regulatory requirements, such as filing for an IPO, companies issue news releases to keep stakeholders informed and maintain transparency.

News Release Example

AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith Visits California Volunteers

Here’s an example from AmeriCorps, highlighting the recent visit of CEO Michael D. Smith to California volunteers. This news release is aptly named, as it focuses on reporting a recent event related to the organization.

Unlike a press release regarding future events, a news release shares information about something that has already taken place.

In this instance, the aim is to keep people informed about the recent organizational update — the visit of the AmeriCorps CEO to volunteers in California.

What Is a Press Release?

Switching gears now, a press release is a formal announcement issued by companies and organizations to share newsworthy information with the media.

Press releases target journalists and provide all the necessary information reporters need to write stories.

Typically, a press release is about something that is yet to happen – a planned development specifically about a company. It could be the launch of a new product or a big event.

The main objective of a press release is to get the attention of reporters, bloggers and other media contacts so that stories are published in media outlets.

When Do You Use Press Releases?

Common occasions for issuing a press release to the media include:

  • New Product or Service Launch - Announcing something new that’s coming to the market.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions - Sharing news when two companies plan to join forces or when one buys another.

  • Events – For example, announcing a big industry conference and making sure people know about it.

  • Rebranding - Sharing news when a company gives itself a new look or changes its name.

  • Awards - Celebrating when a company or person gets recognized for doing something well.

Press Release Example

Africarare Unveils $UBUNTU Token, Ushering in a New Era for Africa's Digital Economy

In this example, Africarare has exciting news to share about the upcoming launch of their new product — the $UBUNTU Token on February 29, 2024.

The company chose to make this announcement through a press release, signaling that they are planning an event for the future (unlike a news release, which talks about something that already happened).

The press release is well organized, providing clear details about what is being launched, when it's happening, how it works and why it's significant.

It effectively communicates the benefits of these new products, presenting key features in a clear and concise manner.

The Difference Between News Releases and Press Releases

Knowing the differences between news releases and press releases helps you choose the right way to tell your story.

Whether you want to engage journalists or share news with a wider audience, using the right format (news release or press release) can ensure your message gets across effectively. 

When you have something important to say, think about which one suits your needs better!

Share Your Stories Using GlobeNewswire by Notified

A leader in news release and press release distribution, GlobeNewswire reaches 158 countries in 35 languages and lets you target your news to relevant journalists and media outlets based on geography, industry and media type - using over 1,000 newslines!

Some of GlobeNewswire’s top features include:

  • Media Snippets - Embed interactive elements directly into your release, boosting engagement.

  • Newswire Analytics - Analyze and measure the impact of your releases and get real-time data on views, social media shares, multimedia engagement and link click-throughs.

  • AI Press Release Generator – Quickly and securely create a first draft of your next release.

If you're looking to boost visibility and engage your target audience, contact us today to learn more!

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