Generally, when people think of public relations, at some point a newspaper will flash in their mind. That’s because for most people two things are true: newspapers are a thing that exists, and written press releases – designed for print media – are a big way in which companies spread news regarding their recent developments.
However, those two “givens” won’t be the norm forever, will they? In fact, they may not be around for much longer at all if the trend towards digital continues – which it will. In this case, the next generation of PR pros won’t even consider newspapers a public relations option at all. It would be treated as a relic, something to be studied in a classroom, but certainly not an option in real world tactics.
Is this the reality we face? Could newspapers disappear forever from the face of PR or will they hold out through time as a viable path to publicity?
As long as newspapers are around, press releases will be sent to them. It’s just the way the industry works. Plus, it makes sense – they don’t typically take that long to draft up, and depending on which paper you’re sending it to it doesn’t cost that much to hand it over. If the readership is big enough it just makes economic sense to give pitching newspaper editors a shot.
Honestly I think the idea that newspapers are going to vanish overnight is stretching it a little. Will physical newspapers be around the entire course of human history? Most certainly not; come a certain point there will only be nostalgic reasons to have them around. Perhaps at one point actually reading information will become obsolete and it will all download right into our brains. Then even digital newspapers will vanish!
But is that going to happen anytime soon? Nope. I doubt anyone living today will see the very last newspaper printed up. There are just too many people that still get their news this way. Sure, many are closing, and it’s a tough industry to be in right now. But it’s not dead, nowhere near it.
No matter what form newspapers take, public relations will go with it, guaranteed. The entire physical newspaper industry could collapse tomorrow and PR would adapt to the entirely digital age. There’s no reason why it would be any different.
News is still news, and editors still have to fill up space. A digital news”paper” isn’t going to have the same limitations a physical paper does, as each page has to be filled up and lined up perfectly every day, which can lead to some press releases getting slipped in. But this spatial need is replaced by the constant buzz of hungry readers begging for more information.
All it will mean for PR in the future is it needs to adapt to the times, which is exactly what public relations is best at. It doesn’t matter if the word “newspaper” loses all context and meaning similar to what’s going to eventually happen to the envelope representing email. You can bet in the future there will be a piece explaining why the info that gets instantly downloaded into your brain during coffee time is called a “newspaper minute,” just as sure as you can bet immediately following it is a press release by a company announcing why their brand new product will fix your life forever.
How long do you think physical newspapers will be around?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html