4 Ways Changing Media Patterns Are Disrupting PR

Liz Guthridge
Image: Pew Research Center
Image: Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center released its annual State of the News Media report today, offering a detailed data-driven perspective of the industry. The fact that more Americans are getting their news from digital sources is nothing new. However, what the report has to say about the growth of digital reporting is important for PR communicators.

  • Advertising – A number of digital news organizations have made native advertising a “pillar” of their financial strategy, according to Pew. In some cases, the growth in revenue from native ads has been quite steep, particularly for sites such as BuzzFeed, Mashable and The Atlantic. Native ads have spawned their share of controversy, but if the practice continues to generate revenue, then don’t expect it to disappear any time soon.
  • Social media– Social network users are heavily engaged in discussing and sharing news stories on various sites. News tends to get mixed in with other content, meaning that any given story has the opportunity to reach consumers who might not otherwise be exposed to it.
  • Storytelling – More journalists from traditional media are migrating to digital news all the time, but digital “natives” are impacting the way news is reported in unpredictable ways. The topics of interest that are covered and the tone of the coverage is now more fluid than in years past, with editors now looking to “younger journalists with a more intuitive sense of the online world.”
  • News sources - The dynamic growth of digital news services means that people are less reliant on a single news source than at any other time in history. People are also becoming more focused on the story and less focused on the source of that story.

PR communicators need to be aware now more than ever that their content must take into account the changes we are witnessing in digital news media. The trend line has not changed significantly, but the expectations of consumers are constantly evolving, and that is what matters most.

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