The media landscape is constantly evolving.
Magazines used to be one of the most popular kinds of media around. There were tons of options, and people subscribed to and pored over multiple subscriptions each month.
But when cable TV came along and began to put popular magazine topics on television, news magazines like Businessweek or TIME were soon surpassed by cable news outlets like CNN, FoxNews, or MSNBC. Lifestyle topics like sports, food, home and garden, and travel soon also found homes on cable TV (think: ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel), and suddenly an existing media format was outpaced by a new one.
As media evolved and expanded, PR pros also had to expand their approach to media relations. We went from only pitching print media, to pitching print and broadcast … to now pitching print, broadcast and digital outlets. But, even the opportunities for “earned media” on digital channels is shifting. Just look at all the places Buzzfeed is publishing content — all of which are potential opportunities for our clients to reach audiences in a new, engaging format. Media companies take what works well and expand on it to create exciting new dissemination opportunities, as illustrated by BuzzFeed’s massive publishing platform.
As new media options become available, we in PR have to keep up with them if we are to offer our clients the most relevant opportunities to reach target audiences.
We Took a Risk—and It Paid Off!
About a year ago, Geben was working with a sports-related startup on the verge of launching their new app, and we were looking for creative ways build awareness. At the time, our PR team had been experimenting with the newly-launched Periscope, actively working to build relationships with a number of journalists who had been early adopters of the app.
We’d built a relationship with an influencer named Jon Erlichman (Bloomberg, ABC News) who was hosting a weekly event on Periscope called Tech Trivia Tuesday. Jon would ask questions and write songs for the winners; it was silly and fun, and he was getting great viewership. One of our account execs won that week’s tech trivia content, creating an even stronger opportunity to nurture the relationship. After a few exchanges, we created a mutually beneficial partnership.
We partnered our client with Jon for an episode of Tech Trivia Tuesday. Questions centered around athletes who were also entrepreneurs, and our client provided prizes for that week’s winner. The partnership was a natural fit for Jon, and it helped our client engage an audience they wouldn’t have found otherwise. That’s a PR win!
As you consider how to get your brand seen, you’ll no doubt pursue all the tried-and-true media options. But how could you add a layer of technology to reach more people, or connect with them in a different way? You never know what sorts of doors you’ll open!
The proliferation of new media outlets creates more targeted opportunities for clients, which naturally means that we in PR and media relations have to keep up with these new options and pursue them with our clients in mind.
We are always asking: What’s our client’s target audience? Who is paying attention? Does that align with the brand/product/service? But we must also ask: How is media evolving? And then we must be willing to explore the options evolution presents.
Media relations is still a core service PR agencies offer; however, if we’re really delivering value to clients, we need to expand beyond our traditional definition of media relations. When we take calculated risks and try new things, we can grow and deliver even stronger outcomes to help clients achieve their business goals.
So, what risk are you taking this week?