How the changing media landscape will affect Public Relations
“A few years ago, it was easy to imagine that newspapers were becoming irrelevant in a digital culture. This has been disproved in the most disturbing way. If an independent press no longer matters, why is it being attacked so relentlessly by reactionary and authoritarian governments and movements all the way from the US to Russia?” The Irish Times on Journalism Matters
Technology has affected the traditional consumer landscape; changing the way we consume everything from a weekly shop to morning weather updates. A recent survey carried out by PayPal in Ireland revealed that Irish consumers are turning their backs on physical stores, instead opting to shop online. The migration online has encapsulated the media industry too. So what does this mean for the consumption of media and, in turn, for PR? We’re outlining six ways PR is changing to keep up with the media…
1. The lasting power of print publications
Newspapers have withstood the test of time, even in an ever-changing media landscpae. Technology has facilitated another way for people to consume news. This has given publications additional platforms to showcase their work. Many newspapers now operate both in print and online, maximising their reach and increasing their readership. This spells good news for PR as news has never been so accessible.
2. Expand digital media relationships
Having strong media relations is of the utmost importance for PR professionals. In addition to traditional press publications, there are opportunities to secure coverage for clients in online-only sites, blogs, podcasts, and other channels. This means PR pros must reach out and build relationships with the people working in these media also.Understanding the interests of journalists and sending them relevant content for example, can help to build relationships.
3. Online friendly press releases
Press releases typically follow a specific format, which has worked well for people working in both public relations and the media. However, as online consumption of news grows, there may be some further tweaks worth considering when writing your next press release.
- Concise writing that gets the point across has always been important when drafting a release. However, research has shown attention spans are even shorter on a screen. Keep your writing snappy and get to the point
- Online publications tend to include hyperlinks in their articles, as it boosts their own SEO. PR professionals therefore need to make sure every press release they send out includes, at the very least, a hyperlink to their client’s homepage.
- Visuals are more important than ever as digital journalists are no longer limited by column inches. As well as eye-catching photography, also consider using suitable infographics and even video.
4. The SEO impact
Writing with search engine optimisation in mind is commonplace for a lot of public relations activities nowadays. With 70% of purchasing decisions online starting with a Google search, it’s no wonder that businesses want to feature on that all important first page in search engine results. Securing earned media boosts SEO, helping your client achieve SEO and overall success.
5. Niche publications and target audiences
Niche publications have popped up all over the internet in recent years, creating fantastic opportunities to secure targeted coverage for clients. These publications often have a devoted readership allowing PR professionals to really target key stakeholders and potential customers.
6. The impact of social media
Having a social media presence that is consistent with a company’s ethos is extremely important. It offers businesses the platform to communicate directly with the public and enhance engagement, opinion and loyalty. However, it also means that businesses are vulnerable to negative feedback. PR professionals need to understand how to manage these situations and how to communicate should a crisis occur.
The media is constantly evolving and the landscape is currently undergoing profound change. For now, traditional media, digital media and everything in between are still essential elements of successful PR. It’s important for professionals to stay up-to-speed on the latest trends while also continuing to craft truly engaging stories for print. If you’d like to avail of Comit’s PR services and knowledge, contact us today.