Navigating PR in a shrinking media environment
April 3, 2019
If you read any news at all, you’re aware that news organizations across the country are shuttering or laying off workers right and left.
Fewer local news organizations is bad for communities and for democracy writ large. It also makes life harder for brands and their publicists, who rely on news organizations as a way of telling the brand’s story to a wider audience.
With fewer news outlets available to pitch to, how can brands and their publicists be nimble, ensuring that their story is told beyond their own social media channels?
To get an idea about how to navigate the changing media landscape, we asked the PR pros on our team. Here’s what they had to say:
Influencers are the new journalists:
“Influencer relationship building, for sure—social media teams interact with influencers, but there's room for PR teams to engage and build relationships with high yield/high follower influencers AND micro-influencers.” —Sam Alviani
Sam’s right: influencers now hold just as much clout as journalists. And while sometimes a brand’s social media team is the first to interact with an influencer on social media, publicists also have a role to play in engaging with influencers on behalf of clients.
“For a PR pro it’s all about relationship-building with the media in the markets where we’re pitching. Unique story angles and how those angles impact the community are key, too!” —Jamie Winter
Jamie’s take is that much of the work of PR pros hasn’t changed—that it’s still crucial to build relationships with the people who guide the conversation at media outlets and on social media. There is still power in taking journalists and influencers to coffee to get a sense of what they’re interested in and how PR pros can best assist them in their process.
Creativity and integration:
PR pros have to continuously think on their feet in the changing media landscape. For starters, we can't necessarily JUST focus on PR—we have to think about how it fits in with marketing and social media efforts as well. Creating an exciting, full picture is what can give us a leg up. How can we make our clients "newsy", how can we generate something exciting to tell the media? Those are the types of questions that keep PR competitive.” —Jordan Laudadio
Jordan is well aware that she and her fellow publicists need to be able to wear many hats! And, given that PR pros are, ya know, communicators, that skill needs to be used within the marketing team, too. AKA communicate with the email, social media, and SEO teams to ensure that the stories you’re pitching fit within their goals, too. Integrating with every marketer on the brand’s team ensures that you’re telling the story in a cohesive way to as many audiences—social media followers, the brand’s email database, people randomly Googling—as possible.