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The New Normal: PR in the Face of the Media Evolution   March 6, 2009 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications
What’s Going On?
Print Media is Having “Issues”
This Just In: <ul><li>Print media loses 7,453 jobs so far in ‘09 (BLS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The  San Antonio Express-News...
Print Media: Dead, Dying or Up for Sale <ul><li>The New York Times : Billions in debt with less than $40M left in cash res...
What’s to Blame?
The Recession <ul><li>Current Recession has accelerated already declining ad revenues which publications depend on to stay...
The Web  <ul><li>40 percent of Americans (versus 24 percent in 2007) said the Internet is their primary source for nationa...
Fallout for PR Pros
PR’s Dependence on the Media <ul><li>Reductions across revenue streams (advertising, subscriptions, newsstand purchases) m...
The Client Disconnect <ul><li>Clients already cognizant of their PR spend can mistake a slow-down in results (if related t...
The War on PR <ul><li>PR firms pressured by clients to subvert the “new normal” are behaving badly; </li></ul><ul><li>Fewe...
How to Deal
Opportunities Within the New Normal <ul><li>As pubs lay off more staff reporters, many are accepting bylines and blog cont...
CJP Communications Web: cjpcom.com Blog: cleverwittyquick.com March 6, 2009 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications
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PR in the Face of the Media Evolution

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What affects do a media industry in flux, a global recession and an increasingly web-savvy media consumer have on the PR business?

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PR in the Face of the Media Evolution

  1. 1. The New Normal: PR in the Face of the Media Evolution March 6, 2009 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications
  2. 2. What’s Going On?
  3. 3. Print Media is Having “Issues”
  4. 4. This Just In: <ul><li>Print media loses 7,453 jobs so far in ‘09 (BLS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The San Antonio Express-News cuts 75 newsroom jobs; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providence Journal lays off 100; 18 of them reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rocky Mountain News shuttered after 150 years, then Denver newspaper union takes 12% pay cut; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seattle Post-Intelligencer to shutter next month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearst says it might have to sell or close the San Francisco Chronicle if it can't lay off a &quot;significant&quot; number of employees &quot;within weeks;&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Washington Post earnings down 77% year-over-year </li></ul><ul><li>Newsweek closes London bureau </li></ul>
  5. 5. Print Media: Dead, Dying or Up for Sale <ul><li>The New York Times : Billions in debt with less than $40M left in cash reserves; could sell or close Boston Globe to stay afloat; </li></ul><ul><li>PC Magazine : Ceased print edition, went online just like the Christian Science Monitor did in October </li></ul><ul><li>Miami Herald : For sale and nowhere to move thanks to dismal Florida real estate market; </li></ul><ul><li>Star-Ledger : Sharing content with five NY/NJ papers to avoid reporter lay-offs </li></ul><ul><li>Minneapolis Star-Tribune : Filing for Chapter 11; </li></ul><ul><li>Smart Money : Ad pages fell 30% in ‘08; January ‘09 issue ad pages down an additional 24%; </li></ul><ul><li>Tribune ( Chicago Tribune , L.A. Times , Orlando Sentinel ): Bankrupt with $13B debt </li></ul>
  6. 6. What’s to Blame?
  7. 7. The Recession <ul><li>Current Recession has accelerated already declining ad revenues which publications depend on to stay in business: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly magazine ad pages in March are down 26% year-over-year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IDC predicts another 5% drop in online ad revenues in Q1’09 that could double in Q2; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total newspaper advertising revenues fell by $3 billion in the first six (pre-Recession) months of 2008 to $18.8 billion (NAA) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumers canceling or not renewing pricey print subscriptions </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Web <ul><li>40 percent of Americans (versus 24 percent in 2007) said the Internet is their primary source for national and international news. That compares with 35 percent (versus 34 percent 2007) who rely on newspapers; </li></ul><ul><li>Online ads sell for approx. 90% less than print ads, so revenue will likely never catch up in time; </li></ul><ul><li>Online content easily re-factored and re-published and catalogued by search engines; </li></ul><ul><li>Improved web technology, broader adoption of social media have empowered citizen journalists. Eyewitness accounts of major events can be streamed live via web video, Twitter, Facebook, etc. using most any handheld device </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen journalists scooped big media by breaking Mumbai terror attacks, “Miracle on the Hudson” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Fallout for PR Pros
  10. 10. PR’s Dependence on the Media <ul><li>Reductions across revenue streams (advertising, subscriptions, newsstand purchases) means tighter space, scaled-down issues and MUCH fewer beat reporters to cover it all; </li></ul><ul><li>With fewer column-inches to spare and increased competition from peer publications and citizen journalists, editors require only two things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your pitch must be exclusive to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your pitch must be news…like, ACTUAL news to even be considered for the print edition (online isn’t much easier) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fewer reporters doing more work means they rarely have time even for in-person briefings </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Client Disconnect <ul><li>Clients already cognizant of their PR spend can mistake a slow-down in results (if related to the aforementioned conditions) for poor performance; </li></ul><ul><li>For clients immune to excuses, this all is not easily explained; </li></ul><ul><li>PR-ignorant clients still fixate on prestige trumping strategy when it comes to media placements; </li></ul>
  12. 12. The War on PR <ul><li>PR firms pressured by clients to subvert the “new normal” are behaving badly; </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer column-inches plus overworked/underpaid reporters plus desperate PR pros is a recipe for disaster; </li></ul><ul><li>Media’s PR backlash getting nasty, makes our jobs even harder </li></ul>
  13. 13. How to Deal
  14. 14. Opportunities Within the New Normal <ul><li>As pubs lay off more staff reporters, many are accepting bylines and blog contributions to keep content fresh; </li></ul><ul><li>Counsel prestige-loving clients to focus more on strategy: coverage in vertical trades can offer more ammo for their sales teams than brief mentions in top-tier press; </li></ul><ul><li>Newsworthy exclusives are the new PR/journalist currency; </li></ul><ul><li>Follow your target reporters on Twitter; often they Tweet when sourcing stories or seeking feedback; </li></ul><ul><li>Create content that illustrates client messages, whether via video, blogs, articles or promotions; </li></ul><ul><li>Stay informed about the changes in the media industry as you would your client’s industries </li></ul>
  15. 15. CJP Communications Web: cjpcom.com Blog: cleverwittyquick.com March 6, 2009 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications

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