As the media continues to find its footing and evolve into something that may one day make the current media landscape unrecognizable, one thing cannot be denied. The practice of public relations will necessarily evolve right along with it.
It’s pretty apparent that online media will eventually replace print media as we know it. Some media will last longer than others; others will go quickly and quietly. Daily and community newspapers look to be on the front end of the march toward extinction, while niche magazines and trade journals seem destined to survive, if only for a little longer.
But it goes far beyond simply replacing the delivery vehicle—migrating to an online delivery model from the print. The way consumers are getting their news is changing, too. RSS feeds, blogs and various forms of social media are changing the way we seek out, request, share and “opt in” for news delivery. Social media has whetted our appetite for sharable content, and made many hunger to create and share the content themselves. Bloggers want to fill the role of journalist, and will do so to widely varying degrees of success. And this new paradigm is what traditional media is now competing against.
So the role of the journalist necessarily changes…or evolves. If we are changing the way we are getting and requesting news, journalists and traditional media must change the way they gather and disseminate news, no?
Which is why it comes as no surprise that a 2009 TEKgroup Online Newsroom Survey reports that “Journalists want social media links.” Journalists are just like the rest of us, right? As a result, public relations professionals and their clients simply must provide the media with what they’re looking for. Static press releases are going the way of the dinosaur, just as static, print media are struggling to survive. Content provided to journalists should, in most cases, be just as dynamic, interactive and sharable as the other “media” we as consumers hunger for.
Here is an example of a (SELF-SERVING ALERT!) press release done in this format. Notice the links to download-able images, to the company blog, its YouTube channel, Twitter streams, RSS subscriptions…and other various links a-plenty.
The media game’s a-changin’. Are you?