Let the Newspapers die. PR doesn’t need them anymore.

Scott Hepburn  has posed a list of valid questions that everyone in media should consider. Notice I said “media” – print, web and broadcast media people should ALL take a look at it and just think about it. 

Here’s my shot at ‘expert’.

How does the current upheaval in the newspaper business create opportunities for smart PRs?

Public relations professionals do not need newspapers any longer.  Let it soak in.  Imagine yourself as the head of PR for EA Sports, a video game company that handles the Madden and NCAA Football franchises. If you have a big announcement to make which makes more sense: Send a press release to Game Informer magazine (circ. 3 mil.) and wait a month or longer for the next issue, or shoot an email to a contact at Joystiq and have the information posted in hours to 174,000 a day…that’s only 2 million more views a month, and without the wait.
Today, the technology exists to spread information at amazing speeds, why should I wait a month to see what’s new and hot in ANY segmentation of my interests?  I don’t have to now, and more importantly I refuse to.
A smart PR professional should be able to see this as well.  While it may be “tradition” to include publications, it is a dying part of the spread of information.  Back to the video game example – of the 174,ooo visiting the Joystiq site, any number of them could be bloggers themselves and will go back to their site and blog about what they saw.
Why should blogs go along with this? Easy, if someone called you from a company, any company, I don’t care who it is and said, “This is our next big announcement and we want your site to be the one to break it” you wouldn’t hesitate for a minute. Many bloggers would jump at the opportunity to beat their competitors to breaking news, and their readers will know what blogs are the best for the newest information and that would create a loyalty to that blog that will spread as they share their knowledge.
The best part? EVERY NICHE HAS A BLOG. So it doesn’t matter if you’re Johnson&Johnson announcing new baby oil, or Chad Johnson announcing his name change to Chad Ocho Cinco.  Good PR professionals know where their public prefers to get their information and want to get the information out as fast as possible to as many people as possible.
Long story short, save the money, time and resources…forget the print, the blogosphere has your cake and you can eat it to.

3 thoughts on “Let the Newspapers die. PR doesn’t need them anymore.

  1. This may be true if you work at EA Sports, but many PR people still need the newspaper. You say it best yourself:

    “Good PR professionals know where their public prefers to get their information and want to get the information out as fast as possible to as many people as possible.”

    If I know that the audience I’m trying to reach over 50, and still picks up a paper every day, I need to get to that paper. Eventually that will change as the circle of life progresses and we become the old ones, but most of my 75 year old constituents don’t even know what a blog is.

  2. I agree with what you’re saying, it seems in today’s society that more and more people are finding ways to get the news information they want, other then the newspapers. But, should we get rid of them? Like the comment above me said, what about the older generation who aren’t up to date with the new technology of getting news, most of them still rely on newspapers. I’m still not sure about what I think about getting rid of newspapers..

  3. OK, I’m biased because I work at a newspaper, but here’s a few arguments PR people should take seriously for keeping around newspapers and magazines.

    First off, your example uses a magazine, which isn’t fair to daily newspapers. With a daily, there is much more immediacy, from postings on newspaper Web sites or blogs to the next day’s paper. Also, there is a legitimacy that comes with something being reported in newspapers. Now, this is being overcome more and more, but there is still a large part of the audience out there, esp. among older people, who see things as more legitimate when they see them in print (political issues aside).

    But there’s also the simple breadth of the audience. If you put out a video game, sure, you can hit your audience better with a niche publication or niche Web site because you have a very targeted audience. But let’s say you want your message to reach a broad audience, say for something like health care issues or a new form of technology that would have broad interest (think a new HDTV or something like that). Newspapers, television and other forms of traditional media let you hit a wider audience with your message.

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