This news is both good and bad if you are looking to do some marketing and public relations:
- The readership may indeed be down.
- An ad in a print publication may not be worth as much in terms of coverage and market penetration as it used to be.
- Small, local newspapers (especially niche ones, like the C&G local papers or even The Jewish News) are cutting their writing staff to one or two reporters or sometimes none.
The Good News:
- Newspapers and magazines are desperate for original content.
- A well written press release can provide content for them without costing the newspaper or magazine staff time or staff resources.
- Free publicity may be easier to come by!
Case in point:
We recently crafted a press release about a charitable endeavor of one of our clients. The press release was well-crafted. It had a catchy title, was concisely but interestingly written with the important details and a hook in the first paragraph and good supporting paragraphs. We submitted the press release to various media options, not knowing which if any would pick it up. It turned out that the trade organization paper and the local paper picked up the story right away. Even better news: the story was not altered one iota in the trade magazine, from catchy title to every last detail.
Our positive experience was that sometimes “free publicity” works out. Of course, it wasn’t entirely free. We had to spend the time writing and crafting (and by the way, sending in some good photos too) and hoping for the best. Ultimately, the coverage seemed to gain much more traction than a paid ad that would have appeared on the same page would have gained.
For pointers on writing press releases, see our earlier blog “The Picayune and Particulars of Press Releases”.