The AP recently reported that circulation, not just ad revenue, is slipping for the nation’s daily newspapers. What does that mean for us? Well, first of all, I think we need to assume that their staffs are working harder than ever, which means that our pitches truly need to be on point. We can’t afford to waste their time with information that’s not relevant to their beat. It also means that we need to pay close attention to the news we see online. Maybe with this new world order in the form of Barack Obama, et al, we might actually witness people returning to the news and really paying attention.
This also forces us to pay attention to all the other kinds of publicity. Clearly, daily newspapers aren’t the only fish in the sea, though we should never count them out. I’m a big supporter of the daily paper (even if I’m aghast by certain design or policy changes . . . ). But I think it’s really important to support your local paper, plus it’s a great way to stay in touch, but I digress.
The point here is that we can’t always predict how or when some cultural shift, like the changing face of newspapers, is going to alter how we do our jobs. Which is why is critical that we maintain our ability to be open to and understanding of trends. Maybe that’s what makes this work so compelling—we really don’t know what to expect, but it sure is fun trying to figure it all out.
Of course that kind of work is crazy making, too. How to stay 500 steps ahead and keep your sanity are daily challenges. I know for me, becoming more informed about social networking and the proper ways to use it for PR is a big goal for me this year. What are your goals? How are you going to keep going when news organizations report on how the media business is going down the drain? Are you going to throw your hands in the air or keep them tethered to your keyboard learning as much as you can about how to continue to do the best job you can?
Hopefully, our weak economy is already becoming a little stronger. We’ll see how the stock market did later today. In the meantime, though, keep figuring out how you’re going to not only stay ahead of the curve but how you’re going to influence the trajectory of what’s tossed our way on a daily basis.