Shift To Online News Impacts Public Relations Strategy

For the last decade newspaper circulation has been on a decline. Since 2013, there has been a 27% decrease in the number of people who get their daily news from printed newspapers. Currently, only about two in ten U.S. adults read a newspaper. Because of this shift away from print, many newspaper companies are responding by publishing their content online, where more people are seeking out news and information. Instead of distributing news to the doorstep, it is now being delivered by phone.

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The Digital Media Takeover

Studies have shown that a majority of people now turn to social media to get their news. Many of us are guilty of relying solely on Facebook as our source for news, rather than reading the newspaper or turning on the TV. In fact, 62% of people surveyed said they get their news from social media.

The advantage of online media is that it provides a continual update of news stories. More and more people prefer the ease of grabbing their phone or tablet to read the news, rather than sitting with a newspaper or watching TV.

The tremendous rise in the use of social and digital media is making companies rethink their approach to public relations. When printed newspapers and magazines were more popular, the goal was to get press releases printed in publications. As print publications fade in popularity, public relations professionals are shifting to distribute information across multiple channels in order to garner coverage in print and online news outlets.

The New PR Focus

Public Relations distribution focus has turned from reaching a few print publications with large circulation to targeting numerous online media outlets. Reaching out to multiple news sources, including blogs and websites that have smaller individual audiences, but substantial reach in aggregate is the new PR focus. Electronic distribution services, such as PR Newswire, can help PR pros with the process of reaching a larger online audience. One of the most powerful pieces of electronic distribution of public relations is the ability for it to be quickly shared among different sources and go “viral,” resulting in it reaching a large amount of people. Regardless of the ever-changing environment, public relations still remains effective in influencing audiences and shaping public opinion and behavior.

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