I know I’m not catching anyone by surprise when I say that traditional media as we know it is in trouble. I follow “themediaisdying” on Twitter and am reminded of this sad fact every day. Now, with the Rocky Mountain News up for sale and its future uncertain, the fact is hitting home even harder than usual. As public relations professionals, this is changing our daily lives and the fundamental ways we do business. Gone are the days of beat reporters with column inches waiting to be filled with news about their beat – even good news. Nowadays it can take several calls to various contacts in the newsroom to determine who might be around that day and MIGHT have time to cover your story – if it’s a REALLY big story. I’m not complaining because that creates more work for PR practitioners; I truly feel for my friends in the media who have so little time and so few opportunities left to cover the things they are passionate about in meaningful ways.
As PR professionals, we must stay on the forefront of these changes, maintain strong relationships with the reporters who are lucky enough to be left out there, and shift our thinking toward new media and new ways to reach the consumers we need to reach. Whether that’s through blogs, microsites, special events or cause-inspired campaigns, now more than ever is the time to think out of the box, be creative, flexible and – most of all – strategic. It’s a challenging time in our industry, but there are some great opportunities out there to do things in new ways and really make an impact. Good luck!