Did you know 2015 was the worst year for the newspaper sector since the Depression? Today’s children will likely never understand the meaning of “hot off the presses.” Social media is rapidly changing the way we people read and share news, but are we – as PR pros, media relations experts and marketers – adapting fast enough?

Let’s think about this. Editors of the world’s largest legacy publications, like Time, The Atlantic and Wired, have left their prestigious positions to work for and start online media platforms with myriad content. The incumbents aren’t ignorant either. Earlier this year, The New York Times acknowledged in its 2020 Report its need to “become more comfortable with its photographers, videographers and graphics editors playing the primary role covering some stories, rather than a secondary role.”

What effect does this have on PR practitioners? A big one. All too often, we fall into the trap of pitching the same media outlets (for some, it’s the Forbes and Fortunes of the world; for others, it’s go-to trade magazines or industry verticals) because they’re still well read, and we have existing relationships and know what type of content they publish. But if you’re finding that the results aren’t as plentiful or as impactful as they once were, you’re not alone.

Here’s the thing: offering traditional interviews with expert sources is no longer effective on its own. We know publications are turning toward video and graphics. We need to pivot our media relations strategy to match. Journalists are on a quest to differentiate their coverage – and we can help. 

We know publications are turning toward video and graphics; we need to pivot our media relations strategy to match.Click To Tweet

Here are three ways to secure a meaningful media “hit” while aligning with the shifting needs of journalists:

  • Publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have dedicated social media teams that create video content, film live interviews and publish quizzes. Rather than offering commentary, try offering digital or interactive content that would help generate social engagement for the outlet’s Facebook and/or Twitter following.
  • When was the last time you scrolled through Facebook and didn’t see a shared video? Video views and shares the bread and butter of social media platforms like NowThis and Mic, which rely on their robust following to keep advertisers interested. If you have video, share it.
  • Did you know Bloomberg and Time have dedicated data editors? These editors mine the internet for raw numbers to create visually interesting packages for both print and online versions. Pitching a data editor gives you the opportunity to help shape the visual and allows your client or company thought leader to discuss the implications/findings.

We are all working within a rapidly changing business and communications landscape. The challenges are numerous, but so too are the opportunities – if you’re willing to get creative. It’s our job to make the lives and jobs of journalists easier, not the other way around. The next time you find yourself struggling for results, consider their goals and how you can help accomplish them.

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With her combined talents in visual content creation and media relations, Jacqie strives to show AND tell unique narratives with every opportunity. Her experience spans the higher education, healthcare, technology and management sectors. Creative and detail-oriented, Jacqie helps ensure team efficiencies and client results. While she doesn’t own one yet, Jacqie has a passion for dogs, and hopes to one day rescue and train her own four-legged friend.