This is good news for no one—not the newspapers, not their advertisers, not their staffs…and certainly not PR practitioners:
Average weekday circulation at 507 papers was about 38.2 million copies for the period ended September 30, 2008, according to the U.S. Audit Bureau of Circulations. That was a 4.6 percent drop from the same six-month period a year ago. From September 2006 to 2007, the drop was only 2.6 percent. Sunday circulation, which was measured at 571 papers, fell 4.9 percent to about 43.6 million copies.
News holes are ever shrinking, making it even more challenging for media relations specialists to hone companies’ messages and make them newsworthy, “fit to print.”
For PR folks, we take comfort that, as the news business diversifies, so do we, leveraging online media, traditional trade media, and other new marketing tactics, such as Web 2.0 and social networking sites. The business of delivering news and messaging continually changes and evolves. We’d better change with it, and we’d better help our clients do the same.