Stay Savvy: Adapting to the Evolving Media Landscape
The latest technological innovations have a far-reaching impact—well beyond the tech industry. The media landscape has been heavily influenced by the influx of new technologies, apps and social media platforms that have enabled us to stay connected to the rest of the world 24/7.
This hyper-connected world has influenced our work in public relations, from the way we pitch reporters to the topics we pitch them on—it continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
The days of cold calling and long phone conversations are all but gone as reporters are increasingly stretched for time and patience as newsrooms shrink. Learning to adapt to your environment has proven critical since the beginning of time, and that still rings true in 2018 for us PR pros.
Rather than long, in-person meetings and interviews, more and more reporters are starting to prefer quick email pitches, or even a tweet to bring their attention to your cause. Rather than sending a lengthy email full of information and text, we now try to grab reporters’ attention with a punchy subject line and a few sentences on why our topic matters.
The increasing complexity of society’s interconnectedness means that “media” doesn’t just encompass reporters anymore, it now includes bloggers and influencers. This new media landscape is now placing less emphasis on facts and more on opinions, which often get the most clicks. This can make it harder for our clients to tell an objective story and avoid controversy. We’re now seeing that if you don’t have an opinion to share or a stance to take, you are going to have a hard time breaking through the clutter.
This means we must get creative. But how? Get to know your audience: the reporters. Follow them on social media; many times, reporters will put information in their Twitter bios regarding their specific interests and preferred methods of contact.
While the media landscape is constantly changing, some things never do: Read what your reporters have been writing. You don’t want to pitch them on an angle they’ve covered in depth when you could pitch them on a fresh perspective to a story they have covered in the past.
Along with a great pitch, understanding the various platforms reporters use most and pinpointing their preferred method of contact will help you get your foot in the door. Know who you’re pitching and know where they are online, and you’ll find it much easier to keep up with the rapidly evolving media landscape.