As traditional media declines and reporting staffs shrink, there is pressure and opportunity to publish your own stories. Now the news media and their subjects are on a parallel quest in an online universe to cash in on their original content.
A new study from the Pew Research Center paints a startling picture of how the news media is continuing to shrink. Not only have the number of reporters and news outlets shrunk, so have budgets.
Some companies have adapted to the change by using more dubious techniques, a few going as far as to offer vacations to reporters in exchange for coverage. However, many companies filled the void by providing factual information through legitimate means.
One example the study sites is Kaiser, which now produces Kaiser Health News. Articles by the organization are published everywhere from NBC.com to the Washington Post. By providing content that is factual and interesting, Kaiser has created a way for it to talk directly to consumers using traditional media as its megaphone.
We’ve mentioned before the importance of self-publishing online and this study confirms our recommendations. Companies more than ever need to tell their own stories.
Another key takeaway from the study is the role shrinking newsrooms will continue to have on media relations. In recent years, placing stories in the media has become more and more difficult. Reporters today have even fewer resources, and providing good-quality information and multimedia content is even more important.
Whether it’s producing content for online newsrooms or providing even better resources for reporters, the shrinking newsroom can be an opportunity for a company to establish itself as a thought leader. Although, there is a clear line between offering reporters helpful information and an all-expenses trip to Hawaii, companies need to be careful not to cross this line.