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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 our day-to-day reading. Every day it seems more media outlets are turning to digital-only formats. It should come as no surprise, then, that we’ve had to say goodbye to some of our favorite traditional media brands. The S3 Agency, a NJ PR Agency, is helping to point the way for public relations agencies as they adapt to the new normal.

We can blame this shift on many factors. But one of the main reasons for the decline of print is the increasing demand for real-time content, fed by social media. For better or for worse, it’s how we ingest news today. Why read a print article from last week, let alone last month, when we can access the latest story on our smartphones?

The most successful media outlets are embracing the change. How? By providing their readers with online-only content. This can often lead to an increase in readership, as well as potential ad dollar spends through the likes of podcasts, videos and brand-sponsored posts. As an NJ PR Agency, we are also seeing magazines elevate their brands through custom experiences such as pop-ups and special events. The result: additional ways for brands to connect with their audiences.

Public Relations Must Adapt or Be Left Behind

Just like journalism, public relations professionals need to change and adapt with new reading and viewing habits. If you’re a local NJ PR Agency, these new habits present a range of opportunities to help your clients expand their media placements.

Impactful PR strategies and placements are more complicated than they used to be. It’s no longer tunneled to just print, broadcast and online. Social media posts, video, and podcasts are additional forms of content that 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. To cut through the clutter, public relations pros need to ensure each outreach is as powerful as possible. That means communications need to be:

  • Truly targeted. Decide where the story belongs. Is it a business feature? Market roundup? Or would it be best served in live influencer feeds?
  • Backed by thorough research. PR pros need to possess an in-depth knowledge of the client they’re representing.
  • Crafted with care. That means understanding the needs of the member of the media they’re trying to connect with.

Using social media to personalize the pitch

As journalists become more specialized, their subject matter expertise may be tapped by multiple outlets. One quick look at a journalist’s twitter feed is all it takes to see that many have become brands unto themselves. That makes establishing strong relationships more critical than ever. Make sure you personalize your pitch. Use social media to get a feel for your editors’ areas of expertise, and tailor your pitch to fit. When successful, it can result in multiple coverage hits from just one outreach.

As editors start to evolve into the new influencers, it’s important to continually follow your key contacts–as well as those you want to get to know. Luckily, social media makes this easier than ever. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media tools 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.

~ Amanda McGarrity, PR Account Supervisor


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