19 Sep 2012
By Wright Communications
The number of traditional media channels is decreasing, online media is increasing and seems to be evolving at a rapid pace, editorial opportunities are now becoming more dependent on ad spend and media organisations are operating with reduced resources.
Over the past few years the number of magazines has diminished limiting the number of publications to pitch more in-depth feature stories to. The magazines that do exist are often heavily advertising dependent, favouring those companies who advertise with them, or only offering paid for editorial.
Even television is taking a more commercial approach, for example TVNZ Breakfast weather slots generally come at a cost. Radio stations now even offer paid for interviews and it is harder to secure 'editorial'.
This begs the question - how investigative, robust and unbiased are the articles in these magazines and news stories and features on television and radio? There is less genuine editorial space available and the line between advertising and editorial is becoming increasingly blurred.
Media organisations are running a tight ship with less journalists, photographers and camera crews available to cover as many news stories. This limits the opportunities available to get the media to cover a news story - they sometimes simply don't have the resource to cover it. There used to be editors and reporters for every news round imaginable - there were more people to cover more pages, which resulted in more editorial opportunities.
This is where our role as PR practitioners is invaluable. We can provide media with all the information, photos and material they need to run a news story when they can't make it to an event or cover a story themselves.
The format or way we receive information is also changing with the print editions of newspapers and magazines increasingly turning to the web. Most publications have an online equivalent e.g. onenews.co.nz, nzherald.co.nz, stuff.co.nz and their own Facebook pages. This provides opportunities for instant and up-to-date news stories and opinion pieces through blogs. Many online sites often use media releases word for word or publish stories from local and international news agencies.
As a result of the digital era and the increasing commercialisation of media, companies are taking advantage of the social media space as a cost effective way of getting their news out to the world. This can also work against companies, for example people posting bad customer experiences on organisations' Facebook pages. It is vital organisations ensure they have resource to manage their social media sites and respond to public posts in a timely manner.
So, what are some ways companies can cut through the clutter and get themselves in the media? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
• Proactively monitor for industry issues which your company can give an insightful opinion on and pitch opinion pieces to relevant publications in a timely manner.
• Reporters get inundated with news pitches from PR practitioners every day. Pitch smarter- look at what they have written and how you can offer something new to a topic they are interested in.
• Become familiar with regular columns and features in publications which could be relevant to your company.
• When framing stories for reporters think beyond those in the company such as the CEO who could add something to the angle e.g. a niche blogger, customer, industry expert or third-party endorser. Bring a complete package. Provide as much useful information as possible including images.
• If you are thinking of setting up a company Facebook page ensure you have the resource to manage and monitor the content and respond to posts and queries promptly and with the right message and tone.
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