With today’s headlines centered on global issues such as Japan’s earthquakes, a shutdown in the US government, school shootouts in Brazil and, of course, the upcoming Royal Wedding, PR professionals’ jobs are getting tougher by the day. While finding your way into the news fold has always taken finesse, global turmoil has made it nearly impossible to get the latest survey, product launch or company announcement into the mainstream limelight.
So, what’s a PR professional to do? Here’s what — let the earth-shattering, breaking news dominate the print and broadcast media, and take to the digital streets. Go where the people are – online! Need some numbers to convince you that online is where it’s at?
According to the Pew Institute’s 2011 State of the News Media Report:
- 34% of respondents said they read news online within the past 24 hours as opposed to 31% who favored newspapers
- 41% said they get most of their news online, 10% more than those who said they got most of their news from a newspaper.
- The 18-to-29-year-old group overwhelmingly cast their vote with the web; 65% said the Internet was their main news source.
- Only 40% of people in the study said they read the news in an online or print newspaper, a 12% drop from five years ago.
And now, think about it logically, not only do blogs and online news sites not suffer from the “space” constraint of a 30-minute newscast, but your story doesn’t go away at the end of 30 minutes either. The Internet is a bank of information that never disappears. Your story becomes part of the archive, the longtail of the web that keeps stories alive. For better or worse, what happens on the Internet stays there for life!
And consumers aren’t the only ones getting their news online, journalists also search the sites for their next big story. Can’t get your story on the New York Times Online? Try one of the hundreds of niche blogs that attract the right audience as well as reporters who are interested in the topic.
PR professionals are no longer locked into a handful of outlets. We now have access to millions of sites that are a better fit for our news and will generate more attention for our client. Sometimes the sites may reel in smaller audiences but they carry a lot of weight with their fans.
Ssssso, take a tip from the Bronx Zoo Cobra, if you want attention go out and make some noise ! If a venomous snake on the town can make headlines with all the breaking news, so can your story!