Public relations professionals need to keep our finger on the pulse of the media. But with so many changes happening, and the speed with which information travels, it’s hard to keep up.
Fortunately for us, Vocus, maker of cloud-based marketing and PR software, puts out an annual State of the Media Report. These reports give a summary of big changes that took place in media in the previous year, as well as trends to look out for in the year ahead. The 2012 report is now available for download, for free, here.
Below are some of my take-away insights from the report:
Insight: Newsrooms are shrinking and journalists are expected to do more than ever
With budget cuts making news staff smaller than ever, journalists who do have work are left with many tasks to complete. They’re also forced to cross over from one medium to another, including digital media.
Do whatever you can to make the journalist’s job easier. Provide information — but not too much — and make them available in different formats. Create photos, videos, and slideshows and other multimedia materials to support your key messages.
Insight: Increasing digitalization of traditional media also increases the demand for content
Nowadays, journalists don’t write a story and get done with it. They’re often also expected to update the story as new developments unfold.
Be a useful and trustworthy resource in your industry and market. Keep abreast of the latest developments, using social media tools, because they are faster than traditional media. Be the one who gives the journalists in your beat the latest news.
Insight: Journalists are using social networks, particularly Twitter, to get real-time feedback and updates on stories
More and more journalists are becoming social media savvy. They know Twitter and other social networks are the best way to get the fastest news and stories from the ground.
Be social media savvy yourself. Connect with relevant journalists on Twitter, and monitor their streams. Be ready to respond and offer help when you can.
Insight: Bloggers are the new journalists and broadcasters
I may make many journalists angry by calling bloggers “journalists.” But the truth is, bloggers reach large audiences, and, more importantly, the audiences of successful bloggers TRUST them.
Reach out to bloggers who reach your target audience. Read their blogs, find out what types of content their audiences enjoy. Find ways to make it easy for bloggers to create those types of content.
Hit Or Miss?
Do you agree with these insights and action points? What do you think is on the horizon for media, and how will those changes affect the way we do PR?
PS: There’s more to learn from the Vocus State of the Media Report, including two electronic gadgets you should invest in (Hint: You may already have them, but how well are you using them for PR? See page 15 of the report). Sign up for your access to this free report here.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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