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Four Reasons Why Media Relations Matters More Than Ever

October 20, 2016

Since 2008, about one-in-four Canadian daily newspapers has closed. Today, there are 600 fewer journalists than there were just a few years ago. Add in the rise of social media, online influencers and sponsored content and it’s easy to think that the practice of traditional media relations is dying.

But is it?

Here are four reasons why media relations matters more now than ever.

1. There is still an audience for newspapers

Since 2013 newspaper readership is Canada is down about 6.7%. Any drop is bad for traditional media, but those numbers shouldn’t lead organizations to abandon traditional media relations. On average 5.1 million newspapers are printed in this country every day. (Source: Newspapers Canada, 2016)

2Some audiences love traditional news outlets

If your product or service targets consumers who are 54+, there’s no contest – traditional media outlets are the way to go. Consumption of TV, radio and newspapers rises dramatically among those over the age of 54. But even for the 18+ demographic, only radio is seeing a substantial drop in listenership while TV is growing at a healthy clip. (Source: IAB Canada, 2015)

3. Journalists have it hard

It has never been more difficult to be a journalist. Layoffs are part of it, but reporters are also expected to do more than ever: File multiple stories, take photos, even shoot video. For PR professionals, whether client or agency, the way forward is clear. Do your homework to figure out all the ways you can help a time-starved, multi-tasking reporter. Do they like quick, punchy quotes? Include them in your pitch. Are they data-hounds? Don’t stop at key highlights, send the full white paper. Are they visual story-tellers? Have video and infographics ready.

4. Relationships are key

The best PR professionals have always built strong relationships with reporters and editors. In today’s environment, a known, trusted PR pro will  get his or her emails and voicemails returned first.