Newsrooms are Dying; Long Live the Newsrooms

Newsrooms are Dying; Long Live the Newsrooms


It’s been painful to watch the continued meltdown of the mainstream news industry. For anyone who believes in the importance of journalism, never mind someone who’s lived it and loved it, the sheer losses this year alone are jarring.


Within this unfortunate news lies an important message for PR — from those involved in it to those who depend on it. A reminder that PR isn’t just about press releases and media lists, media coverage and manipulating news cycles. It’s about earning trust, shaping conversations, fostering brand loyalty and building lasting relationships with your core constituents. And we have options that extend beyond the newspapers and networks.


Media coverage remains a powerful channel to tell a brand’s story, but good PR considers all of the ways that a brand can create, distribute, engage and converse. That means a blend of tools and a plethora of channels to create, promote and maintain the best possible image of your brand and reputation.


So while external newsrooms may continue to decline, PR opportunities have never been more bountiful. Why?


We can run our own newsrooms. 

In parallel, we create owned content hubs that deliver our own, tailored news, features and commentary. Blogs, video, press releases and thought leadership pieces that tell stories, in different ways and from different perspectives. This allows you to control the narrative, showcase expertise, speak to your audience directly and attract journalists actively seeking relevant content. Using platforms like Medium, Substack, or even a dedicated section on your website, newsrooms have SEO power Optimizing content for SEO. 


We can rent others’ newsrooms.

Social media channels, which we really rent rather than own, provide additional, customer-centric avenues for telling real, authentic stories — as well as protecting brands and keeping tabs on how audiences really feel. For digital natives, social channels — more than talking and texting, are the methods of communications — which compels brands to be there. More than just about sharing content, we have a chance to be part of, and even lead, communities — with a voice and POV that builds strong connections with individuals and brands. More than ⅔ of people expect, and want, brands to connect with them.  


We can buy space when needed. 

Sponsored content continues to blur the line between earned and paid media. While not a central strategy to rely on, and generally an expensive proposition, native placements and affiliate marketing provide visibility through traditional news channels. As advertising and subscription revenues decline, publishers increasingly erase the church/state model. This does open up opportunities to place compelling stories that stretched-too-thin reporters may not have bandwidth to explore.


We can look elsewhere. 

The decline in mainstream media is giving way to niches, with consumers curating information from the sources they trust and rely on. Hyperlocal publications, niche bloggers, substacks and even citizen journalists may have relatively small following, but they can have powerful, influential voices. Through these micro-influencers, aligned with your brand’s values and audience, can foster genuine connections, share relevant updates, and offer exclusive stories — you’ll tap into a loyal and engaged readership.


At the heart of all of this, of course, is strong storytelling. Compelling, authentic, timely content that can break through a crowded media landscape. PR must be good not just at placing a story, but at exploring, identifying, creating and shaping narratives. In video and text. From social to site. From ghost-written thought leadership to earned media pitches. Stories that have depth and go beyond products and services to tell human-centered stories that resonate with your audiences and highlight brand values.


All of this matters because stories are the ways that humans communicate. Because facts are 22 times more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story. And because 81% of consumers say they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them.


So even as we continue to lament these newsroom losses, the ways to win continue to expand.

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