The Decline of Print: What Does It Mean for PR?
The Form May Have Changed, but the Storytelling Remains the Same
These days, print media – magazines, newspapers, even books – no longer make up a significant portion of many of our beach bags, suitcases, or even briefcases. It should come as no surprise, then, that we’ve had to say goodbye to some of our favorite traditional media brands, with the outlet either shuttering completely or turning to digital-only formats.
We can blame it on many factors. But one of the main reasons for the change away from print is the new demand for real time content, which has been cultivated by social media. It’s how we ingest news today. Why read a print article from last week, let alone last month, when we can have the latest (or at least updated) story in the palm of our hands, thanks to our smartphones?
The most successful media outlets are embracing the shifting demands of their readers through their online-only destinations. Providing this resource allows for an increase in content and potential ad dollar spends through the likes of podcasts, videos and brand-sponsored posts. We are also seeing magazines elevate their brands through custom experiences, such as pop-ups and events, as additional ways to connect with their audiences.
The future media landscape is starting to look different. Just like journalism, PR needs to change and adapt with the change in direction.
Impactful PR strategies and placements are more complicated than they used to be, no longer tunneled to just print, broadcast and online. Social media posts, video, and podcasts are additional forms of content that are also driving traffic and awareness for brands. Whether it’s an unboxing video, Instagram post, or Facebook live, the digital world has brought new meaning to media placements.
Breaking through to the media might seem easier than ever – after all, “anyone” can email a journalist, right? Not true. Just like consumers, editors have more messages coming at them than ever before. Public relations pros need to ensure each outreach is as powerful as possible: truly targeted, back by careful research of both the client they are representing and the member of the media they are trying to connect with. When building out strategies and lists, we need to really ask ourselves: where does this story belong? Is it a business feature, market round up, or would it best live on influencer feeds?
Also, as journalists are becoming more specialized, their subject matter expertise may be tapped by multiple outlets. They’re becoming brands unto themselves, and establishing strong relationships that respect their true focus can result in multiple coverage hits from one outreach. It’s important to follow your key contacts and those you want to get to know as editors start to become the new influencers and continue to evolve in the space. Luckily, social media makes this an easy way to get started, and it can really help personalize your pitch.
While the future media landscape remains unknown, the importance of media relations and storytelling for brands is here to stay. Finding unique ways to break through is more important than ever – and luckily, that’s exactly what our fearlessly creative approach is designed to do for our clients.