Extra! Extra! Read All About It

A while back, I was having a chat with a reporter buddy of mine, and he started a conversation about the public relations industry and PR professionals he works with on a regular basis. He said it is frustrating the number of times he receives pitches about stories he has already covered and how they were unaware of what he has written.

I just looked at him and said I was not surprised. If you are a PR professional and you have read this far into this blog entry, let’s have a quick show of hands. How many of you honestly read the print version of your daily newspapers and regional publications including free weeklies and business journals? And be honest – don’t just include the times you read a story where your client has been mentioned.

I understand the convenience of getting your news, even from a newspaper, online and tablet. But, quite honestly, there is a strong value and responsibility to our clients to be fully aware of EVERYTHING that a paper has to offer. A large percentage of the populace, especially older readers and those with disposable income, still read the print edition.

To me, it is a PR professional’s best friend for several reasons:

I understand what many people might be thinking about — how this is possible online. But it is more difficult to see the entire placement, as well as the flow that only a print edition so uniquely offers.

I am surprised more PR professionals don’t read the paper more. My love of telling stories was my inspiration for a PR career in the first place.

Now, when I speak to college students studying communications, I am shocked when I ask about who reads the paper. Virtually, no one does. I feel as PR professionals, we have an obligation to be aware of our media – print, online, television, radio and other outlets.