Traditional Media Relations: Why it Still Matters in 2019

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  • 4/30/2019
    I think we can all agree that we live in a digital age. Whether it’s looking at our phones to check the weather, direct messaging colleagues at work or listening to a podcast to pass the time while making dinner, a majority of us immerse ourselves in the digital world at some point during the day – if not multiple times a day. Just because we live in this digitized world, however, does not mean that it is the only way to consume content – or distribute it for that matter. 
    The term “traditional media relations” has long had this sort of ‘outdated’ connotation. It can sound stale and even negative when individuals in the media realm portray it as so – but really it comes down to being misunderstood. Yes, gone are the days of actively trying to get journalists to publish your business’s press release on page two of the paper you might say, but the intention and reasoning behind these actions are what remains relevant.
    Here are five reasons why traditional media relations still matters in 2019: 

    Click to enlarge infographic

    Click to enlarge infographic
    1. Building relationships is personal.
    Media relations – the name practically begs you to create long standing relationships. In a world full of influencers and brand deals, it can be easy to dismiss the “old fashion way” of gaining company/brand coverage. Convincing a reporter or editor that what you’re selling is worth telling their audience isn’t always easy, especially when their reputation is also on the line. But when you do gain that coverage in a real, authentic way, the outcome is worth it. Plus, now you have a media contact who believes in your brand and the story it has to tell. Chances are that relationship will maintain its strength throughout your company’s lifespan. Make sure you don’t diminish the importance of this relationship and continue to follow up with your media contact(s) to keep it flourishing.
    2. People want to know where they’re getting their news from.
    Yes, we’ve all heard the term “fake news,” but the truth is traditional media outlets have notable, well-known names. It’s likely that a story coming from The Washington Post will appear more legitimate than a social media post crafted by someone who claims they “heard something from someone who heard it from someone else who works for someone” – you get the point. Again, in the age of bloggers and influencers, audiences want to know the source they’re get news from is credible and reliable. Don’t forget this important factor. 
    3. Influencers aren’t the only ones with social media.
    We’ve talked about how social media can sometimes skew the way we view traditional media relations, but it can also help amplify its impact as well as its reach. Several prominent news outlets and sources have social media channels and can use that digital platform as a way to participate in the conversations that millennials and Gen Zers are having online. Remember this the next time you’re pitching a story to a more or less “traditional” media contact. You might just get more engagement than you think.
    4. Online news outlets are still thriving.
    Despite being on a digitized platform, online news outlets are a legitimate and easy way for people to find the information they’re looking for. Just because it is present on a digital platform doesn’t mean that the stories weren’t pitched to a traditional journalist or reporter as they would be for a spot on page one of the New York Times. Plus, pitching to media contacts who have a presence both in print and digitally can be a great way for your brand to reach the in-between generation who isn’t quite fully on social media, but isn’t going out and paying 25 cents for the local newspaper every day either.
    5. The numbers are there.
    Finally, don’t ignore the numbers. Pew Research Center tells us that although about two-thirds of American adults (68%) report getting their news on social media, most of them (57%) also say they expect it to be largely inaccurate. The reason they keep going back to it is because of its convenience. So why not use that to your advantage? Get involved with a traditional media outlet that has a presence across all mediums – print, digital and social media. That way, your brand and story are seen as authentic, you’re reaching the greatest possible audience and you’re still creating those long-lasting relationships.
    Want to know more about traditional media relations? Contact us today and let us help you get your story out there with a traditional media strategy. 
    About the author::Caroline Melloh is a PR and Digital Marketing Coordinator who prioritizes, organizes and executes at thunder::tech. When she's not crafting unique content, she's jamming out alone in her car, over-caffeinated and thinking about her future husky puppy.
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