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The Alleged Death of Media Relations

By February 17, 2016 July 28th, 2016 Industry Perspective

Does media relations alone drive a PR strategy for a brand? No. Does this mean media relations is dead or dying a slow death? Absolutely not.

Citing a decline in print media, an increase in brand partnerships with media and a rise in content marketing, some experts are saying PR is relying too heavily on media relations. Of course, we disagree with this conclusion. To the contrary, those points actually reinforce the need for media relations. Observe:

Decline in print media

While circulation numbers, newsroom staff and number of publications with print editions steadily decline, blogs and the online and mobile versions of publications continue to grow their audiences. Traditional media relations doesn’t just mean pitching stories to print magazines and newspapers — bloggers, social media influencers and reporters who write for the online versions of originally print publications need love too.

Media relations isn’t rocket science, but it takes media savvy, excellent writing, established relationships and elbow grease to be successful. Most brands don’t have internal time to dedicate to doing media relations right, so outsourcing to a firm that specializes in media relations tends to be the most cost-effective (*ahem*, BLASTmedia).

Increase in brand/media partnerships

Brands like Netflix and Clorox are shelling out big bucks to purchase native advertising with publications from WSJ to Gawker. These partnerships are undeniably cool, but the majority of brands can’t afford this type of one-shot spend.

In a time when native advertising is blurring the journalism/advertising line, brands need seasoned media relations professionals more than ever. Without traditional media relations chops, marketing pros might reach out to editorial contacts at outlets asking for native ad partnerships (bleck!) or spend thousands on an advertorial buy that isn’t as effective as a third-party review or interview from an actual journalist.

Rise in content marketing

According to CMI, 90 percent of businesses are using content marketing, so it’s obviously on the rise and a huge commitment for brands. The manpower and creativity that go into content marketing — from social content, to blogs, to infographics — is an immense investment, so the content must be used to its fullest capabilities.

Media relations is one of the best tactics for amplifying content. From pitching blog content to trade and national media, to earning thought leadership placements, to offering ebook and infographics to blogs for rich content, media relations is the key.

Need a media relations strategy for your brand? Contact Lindsey Groepper.

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About Kim Jefferson

As a VP at BLAST, Kim’s decade of media relations experience guides strategic direction for account teams and clients. The intersection of her genuine passion for news media and tech allows her to find the hook in clients’ stories. She’s a mother to one angelic human child and one devilish canine child, and she spends her free time wrangling the two of them and watching TV dramas with her husband once they’ve gone to sleep.

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