Archives for posts with tag: Newspapers

When I blogged on July 18 about questions regarding the future of the printed newspaper, I hoped that my daily paper would have a print edition around long enough to carry my obituary. Well, it looks like I better die on the right day of the week.

The Syracuse Post Standard, an Advance Publications newspaper, announced yesterday that it would limit home delivery of the printed paper to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. While it will continue a slimmed down print version the other days of the week, Advance said that edition will be reviewed before the end of 2013. The future for those days of the week looks bleak.

Advance’s decision regarding the Post Standard and a sister publication in Pennsylvania, which announced a similar plan on the same day, is not a surprise. Advance implemented similar models in Louisiana, Alabama and Michigan. As Lorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, put it in the Post’s coverage of its own news: “This is going to accelerate. They’re ahead of the game, and in some ways it’s really smart on their part.”

For public relations professionals who see the Post Standard as a vehicle for publicity, you can be sure that placements in the print edition will be particularly prized – especially in the Sunday edition, which is bound to maintain the greatest readership.  I believe the Opinion page on these dates will wield even greater authority and influence.

Advance Newspapers’ approach is another indicator, though, of what I called the Post-Publicity Era in my July 26 post. Media relations will continue to be important, but it will no longer be the defining capability of the effective public relations professional.  Communicators need to build the four corners of effective digitally powered public relations:

Community – Cultivate a network of connections with the broadest collection of people and institutions that represent your stakeholders. Databases and social media are critical digital tools.

Content – Build a system to generate news and information yourself in all formats – text, pictures, video and graphics. Your content must be honest and meaningful — not self-promotional fluff.

Channels – Maintain multiple distribution vehicles so you can self-publish and self-broadcast to your community. Use your channels first to talk to your community.

Metrics – Develop measurement standards and tools that align with your objectives and goals. Clips represent only one dimension of digitally powered PR.

Whenever any landscape changes, new growth emerges. No one can predict what’s in the future for the printed newspaper, but I am hopeful that Advance’s print-digital hybrid is a model that works. Print has an important role, even if it only gets delivered three days a week. And society needs the robust news gathering organizations that newspapers represent.

Greg Loh is the managing partner of public relations and public affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s leading independent marketing communications agencies. Views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of EMA.

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I love reading the New York Times on my tablet.

I catch up on the local news every morning on Syracuse.com, the digital version of the Post Standard, at my desktop.

I don’t, however, like thinking about a future without the printed newspaper. When I really want to engage with the news, I pick up the paper. I’m a loyal subscriber to the Post Standard, and I will be until it carries my obituary.

Recent events in publishing and some news coverage last week made me wonder about which might come first – the demise of the printed newspaper or me. Assuming a fairly long timeline, I hope it’s me, but increasingly, the future of newsprint is looking gloomy.

It’s been well documented that newspapers are the official record of news and information. Even with all the cutbacks in newsrooms, newspapers still have the biggest and most experienced news gathering teams. They do more investigative work and have the ability to dive deeper on matters that need attention and understanding. Their opinion pages have been and continue to be the influential voices on societal issues. A strong editorial can still swing thought leader opinions and activate people to solve important problems.

Because of these truths, conventional wisdom is that the demise of the “paper” will be bad for the public relations business. It means one less place to generate clips for our clients. I sure don’t want to see that day come, but if it does, I see opportunity for public relations. At least for the organizations that are ready.

In my next post, I’ll explain what it takes.

Greg Loh is the managing partner of public relations and public affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s leading independent marketing communications agencies. Views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of EMA.

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