Print still rules

So many websites…what’s a PR pro to do? 

One thing to do is never forget the formula that has been driving news stories since, oh, forever. Get it into print. 

Yes, there are scads of sites now catering to every PR category: hard news, entertainment news, restaurant news, sports news, tech news.  Yes, PR folks need to know them and use them.  But nothing, in my experience, can top getting a story into a newspaper, preferably the market’s dominant newspaper, because so many things flow from there. 

For instance, if you get a story in the Globe, you can set off a multi-media chain reaction.  Sort of like nailing several targets with one bullet.  The story makes its way onto the Internet via the online Globe, and if you’re lucky—and good—it gets prominent play on, the Globe’s website and one of the higher-visited sites on the web.  The story becomes instantly Googleable (hmmm…).  TV assignment editors, relying on newspapers more than ever since TV beat reporters are pretty much extinct, might assign a reporter and camera to the story.  News radio might do the same.  The story will find its way on to specialty sites through key word searches.  Now, you’ve hit all the media layers, and your story has hit many eyes and ears.

So when I read about the latest circulation dips or hear about young people not reading newspapers anymore, I’m reminded of the scene in “The Devil Wears Prada” where the Meryl Streep character brilliantly dissects the path of assistant Anne Hathaway’s “lumpy blue sweater” which, Streep points out, is actually Cerulean, a color introduced by top designers years before, then copied by mid-level and department store designers before, ultimately, ending up in the sweater bin of some “tragic Casual Corner.”  With magnificent disdain, Streep points out that the sweater represents millions of dollars and thousand of jobs, facts utterly lost on behind-the-curve bargain hunters.

Is Internet info so different?  Much of it tracks a similar route, not from designers but newspapers, because newspapers are the places which employ the people who push out daily news stories which end up filling the queues of so many sites and the screens of so many users…whew.   So, all you non-newspaper readers, take note.  You’re not as removed from newspapers as you think.

Jim Borghesani is president of PrimePoint Strategic Media.

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