Taking a Newsroom Approach to Content Marketing

content marketing trendsBrands have never cared more about content marketing. It is the hot topic for 2013, as brands look to leverage great content to expand their reach, drive more engagement or improve their search engine rankings – to name a few. Don’t believe me? Search any content marketing related keyword in Google Trends and you’ll find a spike in conversation this year around the topic (the graph to the right is for “content marketing” news headlines). [Read more…]

Will Google, Apple and Amazon Fuel Newspaper, Magazine Subscriptions?

While a lot of people in the media industry spent the past couple of years figuring out how to make old media business models work online, and media critics droned on about the death of newspapers and magazines, technology innovators focused on fixing the problem.

What problem? Getting consumers to want to pay for digital content. I took a pretty hard line on the issue of free versus paid content, pushing for free as the answer. I now pay for a dozen or so subscriptions across the various electronic devices I use to consume content. [Read more…]

The Death of Blogs?

In case you missed it last week, Gawker Media (home of Gawker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Lifehacker and Gizmodo) announced they are restructuring their sites effective January 1st, to make them look less like a blog and more like a news magazine.  The Wall Street Journal quoted Gawker founder Nick Denton as saying “I’m out of blogs…I don’t want to be the No. 1 blog network anymore.  That’s like being king of the playground.”

Some would argue that Gawker legitimized blogs as a form of journalism. So if their founder is arguing that he no longer wants to be in the blog business, does this signal the death of blogging as we know it? [Read more…]

Journalism Online Will Make You Pay

Journalism Online, a new startup created by former media executives, thinks it’s time for you to start paying for online content. You were always willing to pay for content before the Internet came around and publishers started giving it away for free. Why shouldn’t you pay for it again, and help print publishers pull themselves out of the death spiral they’re in? That’s my takeaway from reading the company’s mission.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some content is worth paying for. Most online news content should be free, there just isn’t that much value from one outlet to the next. Now that advertising isn’t paying the bills, going back to consumers to ask them to pay just doesn’t feel right. Journalism Online thinks you’ll gladly start paying again though, because you value the information that much. [Read more…]

Will Your Newspaper Be Around in Five Years?

Will your newspaper be around in five years? I don’t think anyone knows for sure what will happen, but I think it’s a safe bet you won’t have the same number of newspapers in your market in five years (and I’m not saying there will be more). I know there are a lot of people who will continue to get their news from print, just as there are people who still continue to buy their music on vinyl. It’s the experience and nostalgia of it all. [Read more…]

Building Media Relationships in the Midst of Newsroom Instability

Newsflash: 90% of the reporters on the targeted media list you created in January are out of work. They’re not responding to your emails because they’ve packed up their belongings and gone home. Which is probably a change from why they usually don’t reply to you (ahem, spray and pray?). As newsroom staff dwindles, reporters’ roles and responsibilities are shifting and we’re left scratching our heads, wondering how to keep up with constantly moving, undefined targets.

Yes it’s true. The days of creating a media list and letting it sit unmodified for a year are over. No, the days of thinking of journalists as little more than another email address you blast your news to are over. But you know this. Change isn’t just coming anymore, it’s here. So, where’s the silver lining in these pink slip-laden newsrooms and inboxes full of bounced emails? I’ll tell you. As the number of reporters per publication declines, competition for coverage will become increasingly intense, forcing us PR pros to tighten up our game and play smart or be sent to the sidelines to cry on the bench. [Read more…]

On The Future of Journalism

“In times of change learners will inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to work in a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

This is one of my favorite quotes. Few places does this quote ring more true than in the world of traditional media today, where the ‘learned’ continue to resist change and refuse to accept that some of their business models no longer make sense.

The Rosen Group conducted a recent survey of American readers about the state of current and future media, finding that nearly 80% of respondents still subscribe to magazines and 83% find that daily newspapers are still relevant. In the same survey, only 45% said they think newspapers and magazines will exist in 10 years, while 40% were uncertain.

While it’s easy to get distracted by the fact that consumers still subscribe, it’s nothing short of alarming that many don’t think newspapers and magazines – at least not in their current print bodies – will exist in 10 years. If that’s the case, what will the future of journalism look like for you and me? If the ‘learners’ have anything to say, it will look much different. [Read more…]

The Impact of Dying Newspapers on Older Readers

old-manWhere Will Seniors Get Their News?

I recently read an article in Editor & Publisher, How to Use the Web to Prevent Remaining Print Readers From Fleeing,” where Steve Outing makes some great points about what newspaper publishers can do to preserve the remaining print readers they have, particularly in regard to many publishers ignoring older audiences. While many media companies work to preserve their future with digital strategies aimed at younger audiences, they are simultaneously alienating themselves from their older (and often most loyal) readers.

He’s right. I don’t know about you, but most of the seniors I know get most of their information from the newspaper tossed in their driveway each morning. While many older generations are quickly adapting to the electronic world, they are mostly using the Internet for email, shopping, health information and watching online videos. When it comes to their news, they still want to get it from their newspaper. [Read more…]

Big Challenges for Journalists in the Current Media Environment

Yesterday we did a post about some of the most common challenges facing media relations professionals in 2009. Now we’ll shift gears and touch on the biggest challenges facing journalists today. Like the media relations challenges, we’ve had some great discussions with journalists about their current working environments and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Some of the most challenges cited by journalists are:

  • Having to write content across multiple formats (print, Web, blog, etc.) – asked to produce more content than ever before
  • Dealing with constant changes to coverage areas and beats
  • Working in uncertain economic environment – layoffs are happening all over the place
  • Forced to do more with less – staff cuts means there’s more work for those left behind
  • Competing against other outlets for the best stories – working around challenges of a 24/7, global news climate
  • Adapting to new media – social networking and Twitter for example
  • Processing and filtering incoming information efficiently – including the high-volume of pitches and press releases
  • Managing relationships and sources for ongoing story development
  • Dealing with uninformed PR reps and off-topic pitches
  • Finding necessary information from PR reps and online press rooms

Many of these findings will come as no surprise to professional journalists or publicists, but the problems seem to be amplified in the current uncertain economic environment.

Do you work in the current media environment? What challenges are you facing on a daily basis? In what areas could you use more help to do your job? What could media relations professionals do to make your job easier? What tools or resources do you find most helpful in your daily work? Let us know your thoughts.