7 Media Relations Trends to Expect in 2012

The big story in media relations in 2011 was the continued influence of social media in outreach to journalists. Twitter has become essential in both following and alerting the media. Yet traditional media relations techniques like the press release and desk-side interviews still have a place in media relations. PR News asked two media relations experts to give their take on trends to expect in 2012.

Priya Ramesh, Director, Social Media Strategy, CRT/tanaka

  • Twitter will position itself further as an “information” network, not just a social network, which means that a growing number of journalists will seek information and news sources on Twitter. By making yourself relevant, content-rich and a thought leader on Twitter, you may well be increasing your chances of getting some media attention. Twitter also helps you to get to know your reporters and bloggers more in terms of what’s on top of their minds.

  • Communicators will start tying search to their media relations efforts. For example, press releases/blogs/online newsrooms will be search engine optimized to make it easy for journalists to find your news.

  • Social media will continue to empower citizen journalism, as anyone with a smartphone device can instantaneously create and share news in real time. This compels communicators to start treating their community as news distribution channels. Facebook and Twitter were the top outlets where people found out about the U.S.' attack on Osama bin Laden's compound. This just shows the evolution of social networks as news sources, which means communications pros must at the least have an active listening/monitoring plan in place to stay close to their community online as well as their targeted media.

Johna Burke, Senior Vice President, BurrellesLuce

  • Blogging will grow increasingly important for otherwise “traditional” publications. Journalists will be required to generate more stories with an eye for driving traffic.
  • Journalists' “influencer ranking” will start to outweigh other influencers as they expand their reach and scope to multiple channels with an increased focus on blogging and traditional stories. Thought leadership and developing compelling and popular stories will drive this authority.
  • SEO will be increasingly important. This will be important for journalists looking for sources and for journalists posting stories. Just as the media use search to find experts and be the first with the story, they will find their own content development will drive traffic to their own site(s).
  • Geo-targeting efforts will extend to the media and their need to find sources that are relevant for their stories in a hyperlocal world.