How Digital Media Is Changing PR

smartphoneWhile there are still many strong, well-read Canadian print publications, the reality is that with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, many Canadians are opting to read their favourite publications, digitally. It’s less expensive and many would say, more convenient. As a result, many Canadian print publications have chosen to phase out print distribution and have chosen to only produce a digital edition.

Public relations professionals have had to adapt to this change in the media industry. With securing coverage in both long lead and short lead print publications being a staple in any traditional public relations plan, how has the rise of digital media impacted what we do?

While we continue to pitch existing printed publications and get our clients great coverage that way, we’ve found that in order to continue reaching the right people, we need to find new, creative ways to do things. Here are a couple of ways we’ve adapted to secure greater online coverage for our clients.

  • Pitching Digital Editors

Print publication editors responsible for pulling together online content have a tough task to accomplish because in addition to posting printed publication content online, they also have to fill the remainder of the site with engaging new stories each day. Readers who visit the site daily, want to see fresh, new entries. This is why many publications now have a digital editor responsible for all online content.

Publications often have a digital editorial team that works separately from their print counterparts. Recently, we’ve begun working with these digital editors more regularly, doing our best to serve them and their needs, while getting great coverage for our clients.

For example; when working with MennoMedia and Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, we pitched the story to The Huffington Post Canada’s Life Editor, who loved the story so much that she recommended I connect with the Blog Manager and together we worked to have the women become regular Huffington Post Canada bloggers (posting multiple times each week) for over a year!

  • The Creation of an Online Media Group (A new approach!)

As a company, we have connections with many influential Canadians (media representatives, bloggers, business owners, musicians etc.) who have a strong online presence but don’t necessarily ‘fit’ in our Nuts About Books blogger program or our Resourcing Leaders program (which is made up of individuals involved in the church, ministries or non-profits). We’ve identified these individuals as people who want to remain ‘in the know’ and spread the word about great, new resources within their network. As a result, we’ve developed an informal Online Media Group. All of the members of this group have opted-in to receive personalized, requested resources from us, review them and use their influence to spread the word about it within their network.

The Canadian media landscape is absolutely changing, but we’re embracing this change. It’s an exciting time! A 2013 report by NADbank, an organization that measures newspaper readership in Canada found that while printed papers in Canada are losing readers, weekly audiences (printed and online combined) are larger than they were in 2008. The rise of digital media has opened up new possibilities for readers and it’s offering us new ways us to better serve our clients.

To learn how we can work with you to get your organization some great digital media coverage, send me a note at paola@grafmartin.com –I’d love to chat!

 

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