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The changing media landscape…and what it means for media relations


It’s no secret–the media landscape has shifted.


Media share news differently now.

Media create news differently now.


Media are different. Much different than they were 16 years ago (wanted to keep it to 2000 for comparisons).

And sure, the PR world has adapted the way they pitch and work with the media. To varying degrees.

But, have we really adapted our mindset and approach based on how the media landscape, from a macro-view, has changed?

That, I’m not so sure about.

Here’s a few stats to illustrate what I’m talking about:

  • Buzzfeed’s digital monthly unique visitors: 77,992
  • New York Times digital monthly unique visitors: 57,132

Or, how about this one:

  • BusinessInsider.com’s digital monthly unique visitors: 37,309
  • NPR’s digital monthly unique visitors: 25,573

One more:

  • Upworthy’s digital monthly unique visitors: 17,513
  • US News & World Report digital monthly unique visitors:

Note: All stats from Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

In essence, what these stats show is the online readers of three traditional, and historically very popular media outlets have been trumped by three outlets that weren’t in existence 10 years ago.

And I don’t think the PR world is giving those kinds of outlets their due.

So, the media world shifted. But, we haven’t shifted with it.

For example, I think it’s pretty fair to say most PR folks I talk to would say a hit in The New York Times would be a big freaking deal for their client or company. A home run, in many cases.

Yet, according to the stats I just shared, a hit in Buzzfeed might reach more people (albeit, perhaps not the right people, depending on the client). And, I don’t hear about a ton of PR people pitching Buzzfeed (or, maybe I’m just hanging out with the wrong PR people; what I hear much more about are paid placements within Buzzfeed)

What about Upworthy? Here’s a media outlet that’s only four years old, yet it’s drawing more visitors than US News & World Report and the Chicago Tribune (despite what many might think about Upworthy). When was the last time you heard a PR person pitching Upworthy?

Business Insider? I actually pitched them to run these very blog posts a couple years ago. Why? Because they have enormous reach, and credibility. Wonder how many PR people have pitched their clients’ content as bylined content to BI?

You see where I’m going with this. Why aren’t we paying more attention to these newer media outlets? It feels like, from a media relations standpoint, we’re still playing by 2005 rules. Except it’s 2016.

What’s up PR Nation?




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