Michael Bush at Advertising Age published a very interesting, poignant article today about the shrinking media market and the direct effect it’s having on the PR industry as a whole. Specifically, the way in which we garner coverage for our clients, engage customers and communicate key messages.
With roughly 30,000 reporters leaving the U.S. newspaper industry in 2008 alone, it’s a sure thing that marketers are looking for new ways to communicate directly with end consumers and disseminate their product messages. We can no longer rely solely on the traditional new product pitch to a targeted list of media in hopes to secure coverage. PR professionals need to be looking at other outlets and platforms (à la Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to engage their clients’ customers in creative, sticky ways.
The article sites great examples of how companies like Coldwell Banker, Best Buy and Mastercard are using social media tools and original content to reach customers and share messages without having to rely heavily on traditional media write-ups or reviews.
My two cents…Embracing new communication channels is an inevitable and important part of PR this day and age, however it does not lessen the importance of maintaining relationships with traditional media and news outlets. After all, that is what our job is about – relationship building. “Earned media” will always provide a company with a higher level of credibility and help them achieve leadership in their respective industries and we simply can’t forget that.
Click here to read the full article on Advertising Age.
Oh, and Happy Birthday to Digital Advertising! The first digital banner ad ran on October 27, 1994 on Hotwired.com, the first commercial digital magazine on the Web and the offshoot of popular Wired magazine. Great walk down memory lane by Frank D’Angelo at AdAge here.