Media relations remains the bread-and-butter of many public relations agencies, and with good reason. However, if communications professionals are continuing to bet the farm on print media or TV spots, they could be missing out on a range of more effective options.

Changes in the media landscape mean communications professionals need to think more strategically and creatively about how they approach media relations.

Thinner weekday papers and more online options

There was a time when the weekday papers were the best option for a brand trying to get noticed in the Australian marketplace. However, weekday papers have grown thinner and broadsheets have turned into tabloids, and journalists have faced numerous rounds of job cuts.

It turns out that the way people consume information reflects their changing lifestyles and habits. People don’t tend to reach for a newspaper for their morning or afternoon commute; instead they’re reading the news on their mobile devices, choosing from a plethora of sites ranging from general news to highly-specific sites that relate to their interests.

Some print media still work

On the weekends, people seem to still enjoy perusing the print media, with weekend papers continuing to see strong sales compared with the weekday papers.

And, local papers remain a significant source of information. These free papers deliver local information that readers see as valuable and relevant, so they’re still in demand. This makes them ideal for PR campaigns with a strongly local flavour, or for event-based campaigns where the events are held in local areas outside the CBD.

Broadcast has changed but not as we expected

The old song ‘Video killed the radio star’ seemed prescient in the 1980s but, in 2018, radio is king. People have less time to sit in front of the television and, when they do, they’re watching on-demand services like Netflix, Stan, YouTube, and others. This means radio tends to be a better bet with drivetime being an ideal time to reach the biggest audiences.

News is now entertainment

Previous generations watched the news to become informed about the world around them. Today, most news content would be more accurately described as entertainment. With brands like the Kardashians and stories about politicians’ lives dominating the ‘news’, it’s harder to find examples of hard news.

While it may be less edifying, this increasing focus on lifestyle can pay dividends for brands with a human-interest story to tell, since there are more opportunities for this type of content.

Blogs are a double-edged sword

Blogging used to be a high-tech way for people to keep a diary, often only read by a few close friends. Now, bloggers can be influencers and publishers in their own rights and more people seek out specialist content from likeminded bloggers.

This means that you can successfully promote a brand through its own blog or by reaching out to influential bloggers and vloggers. Because they tend to communicate with a highly-segmented audience, the value of this type of content can be quite high. However, if you’re looking to get mainstream media support for a story, publishing it on a blog first can potentially make it less attractive to journalists.

Ultimately, the most successful media campaign will be one that leverages different media to communicate key messages to carefully-chosen segments of the market. Tailoring content as much as possible is, and always has been, the key to success. Now, with so many different vehicles to choose from, media relations professionals can develop more strategic campaigns that deliver tangible results.

For more information on how we can develop a bespoke media relations campaign that tells your brand’s story to your target audience, contact us today.