The irony of cutting spending on news media and finding no outlet for PR

This article in AdAge caught my eye this morning:

“As media market shrinks, PR passes up reporters, pitches directly to consumers”

This is quite a paradox.

There has been a strong trend of companies increasing spending on PR because they know that a mention in a news article carries more weight with consumers than a typical ad.  Every great brand can make a good news story.

At the same time, these same companies have been cutting media dollars out of newspapers and magazines, a trend that started before the current downturn. They do not want to spend as much generating their own messages and paying for those messages to be delivered to consumers.

However, the newspapers and magazines rely on the paid advertising.  Without out it, they close.  And the PR outlets disappear.  Suddenly companies find themselves in the situation of more stories chasing fewer reporters.  The opportunities for “free media” decline as advertising support for “free media” evaporates.

So what do companies then do?  Send the message directly to the consumers just as they did with advertising.  The media may be different but the need for advertiser generated messages is the same.


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