I recently shared coffee with a public relations colleague who asked me if we still are pitching stories and trying to get our news into the local media anymore. I would have thought it a strange question, if I hadn’t already been experiencing the decline of the news release, news conferences and basic story pitching.
In Syracuse, our local newspaper has declined to only handful of printed copies per week. Its online presence is greater but lack of sufficient editorial coverage and time makes stories thin, and at times, inaccurate.
What’s more, reporters don’t seem to respond to pitches anymore and when they do, the stories rarely include the depth of information we want them to. So I was curious to read the New York Times take on what politicians are doing to get the word out in lieu of basic media relations. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/bruni-who-needs-reporters.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
The editorial points out how easy it is to create and distribute your own message. I feel this is the wave of the future for public relations, as well. We now can develop our own content and disseminate it as well if not better than our local and national media can. But, at what cost? Where is the credibility if we are the ones sending the message directly to the masses? The media has long been the watchdog, questioning big business and government and asking the tough questions. It will be incumbent upon them to continue to do so, even if the message is generated elsewhere.