Ad Agency PR: Can It Guarantee Publicity for Your Agency or Client?

NewsChannel 5 Truck

One of the biggest challenges in ad agency PR is managing expectations for publicity. If you work in the PR industry long enough, there’s a good chance that sooner or later you’ll be asked if you can guarantee news media coverage of a new product, service or event.

Better yet, someone in your agency will say or imply that you can get coverage in an effort to impress a client or win a new piece of business.

Generally speaking, no one working in PR can guarantee coverage in a legitimate publication or program.

I’ve seen exceptions—such as a small newspaper, radio station or trade publication offering coverage in exchange for advertising—but the higher one goes in the news media chain, the less likely it is that such an exchange will take place. In fact, most media outlets would be downright insulted if approached that way.

What can be promised is that the PR practitioner will devote his or her best efforts to success; explore a variety of possible angles; utilize knowledge and experience (such as understanding how news media operate and what constitutes a good story from their perspective); and leverage existing relationships with reporters in a good-faith effort to generate positive coverage.

Still, there’s always the possibility of striking out. And that can sometimes be hard for advertising executives or clients to understand because they think the story idea is great and everyone should be interested in it.

Maybe it really is a great story, but the timing isn’t right because the targeted media outlet recently did a similar story; perhaps there are other earth-shattering events taking place that have crowded your story out of the running. Or, possibly, gatekeepers have made it impossible for you to reach the right people.

There are days when a career in advertising sounds pretty good compared to a career in PR with all its uncertainties. While advertising and PR should both base their strategies and messaging on research, advertising has the distinct advantage of being able to control the message, determine where it runs and when.

With publicity, you have no real control over the message—though you can influence it—and you have no control over where a story runs, when it runs or even if it runs—not to mention that the publicity may backfire by being negative.

Despite these drawbacks, PR has an advantage that no other marketing tool can replicate, and that is giving your agency or client credibility.

That’s because publicity allows an objective secondary source–the news media or bloggers–to tell your story to the people you want to reach. Best of all, publicity does so at no cost, (other than what one might be paying a PR person to do the story crafting and pitching).

It’s this high risk/high reward carrot that makes PR so energizing and addictive. Win or lose a particular publicity battle, it’s worth the challenge. I guarantee it.

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PR Implications for the Growing Trend of Automation in Newsrooms

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If you thought it was tough selling a story idea to a skeptical reporter, try making your next pitch to a heartless, steely-eyed robot journalist.

In a March 2014 Wired article titled, “Robots have mastered news writing. Goodbye journalism,” a study involving undergraduate students found a generative software news article held its own with one written by a real-life journalist. In fact, the automated story scored higher in areas such as trustworthy, objective and more accurate.

This obviously is not good news to the human reporters who have managed to survive the deep cuts made in recent years, particularly at newspapers.

“…when it comes to implication for the future of journalism we should keep in mind that the algorithms are getting better and better” says Christer Clerwall, assistant professor of media and communications at Karlstad University in Sweden.

He’s the guy who had students make the comparison. While not exactly a scientific study, it is interesting to consider the possibilities and implications of the growing trend toward automation in the newsroom.

  • Recently The Associated Press hired an automation editor, and a number of newsrooms are now using algorithms to help them with stories. Automating certain aspects of reporting is supposed to reduce the workload of reporters – AP estimates it saves 20% of the business desk’s time – and it provides them with new data resources, which in theory help human reporters do a better job of identifying and telling important stories.

As is the case with other industries, automation in the newsroom also means fewer human employees are needed. In fact, journalism is one of the nine professions singled out as being in jeopardy by the rising use of robots.

But loss of jobs isn’t the only concern. Automation “is raising new questions about what it means to encode news judgment in algorithms, how to customize stories to target specific audiences without making ethical missteps, and how to communicate these new efforts to audiences,” according to a Sept. 1, 2015, article about automation in the newsroom by NiemanReports.

The author, Celeste LeCompte, points out one benefit of automation is that it can actually help connect audiences more directly: “In June, journalists at Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) rolled out a news app to accompany a series on earthquake preparedness in the state. The app, called Aftershock, provides a personalized report about the likely impacts of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on any user’s location within the state, based on a combination of data sets.” That’s really getting local and personal.

Training the automated software brings challenges of its own, such as providing appropriate guidance in which metrics and data are most important for a particular story, and learning to navigate through a panoply of variables. (Think of the data and variables involved in GPS giving the quickest route from point A to B.)

At least one person in the comments section of the NiemanReports’ article was not impressed, writing, “Big deal. A vast majority of journalists were programmed by the left long ago.”

What are the implications for public relations professionals? Some of this could actually work in our favor. For example, I’ve seen reporters either refuse to do stories or do terribly one-sided coverage because of what I suspected was their personal bias on the subject matter. No such problem when dealing with a machine, unless bias is programmed into it.

Another benefit is that we wouldn’t have to be concerned about dealing with the occasional reporter with an enormous ego or one who is emotionally fragile and unloads on people when they call at the wrong time. If a story is a “logical” fit, pitching it to an objective robot could be a real plus.

Of course, if the robots get fed up enough with PR pitches, they may resort to their own automation: “To submit a story idea, press 1 and record at the beep; to share a news tip in 30 seconds or less, press 2; to request a correction, press 3….”

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Ad Agencies: Here’s a Way to Strengthen Relationships with Reporters Who Cover Your Clients

Media looking at car at Nissan facility

One of my most memorable experiences was the time I spent in Guatemala on a mission trip, where I was part of a team that helped build a school for kids living in extreme poverty. The school was going up next to the church that was spearheading its construction, and today there are about 700 students who attend. They are receiving an education that is much more than a competitive edge; it is a ticket that will help them escape poverty.

I had been to other parts of the world and seen some poor places, but nothing I experienced was quite like this. The church complex was built on a hill that overlooked a valley, and as far as I could see in any direction there were shacks built of cinder block, corrugated tin, pieces of plywood—and whatever else the residents could cobble together for a dwelling. The houses lacked running water and had dirt floors. No one knew for sure how many people lived in this valley, but the government estimated the population to be in the hundreds of thousands.

The majority of people who attended the church came from this valley. They were some of the warmest, most loving, friendly and joyful individuals I’d ever met. During the weekdays when we were engaged in construction, a number of mothers were working with us, using shovels, picks or even their bare hands to help out. They knew what this school would mean to their children, and they were determined to do their part to build it. I also got to spend some time in the valley visiting a child my family and I were sponsoring.

You can see pictures of poverty, but there’s no substitute for experiencing it in person and getting to know real people, by name, who are trapped in it. My time there certainly gave me a new perspective on the blessing we enjoy in America, and I look forward to returning to Guatemala someday, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

Vision trips for news media and major donors have been used very successful by some of the world’s largest nonprofit ministries and humanitarian relief organizations precisely because such visits help them see the work being done first hand. They enable those who go to experience a situation personally in a way that words and images simply cannot convey adequately. Such trips also are great for getting news media and donors acquainted with people in areas affected by disasters, extreme poverty, etc.

While onsite trips to less exciting places, such as manufacturing plants, have much less emotional impact, they still can be used very effectively by ad agencies to build or solidify relationships with reporters who cover a particular industry.

Bringing a small group of journalists to a client’s facility for a day or overnight trip gives them an opportunity to meet top management; get briefed on new developments, plans and trends; and see for themselves the client’s operations in action. They should also have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussion with management.

Here are two examples of such media trips that I was involved with personally. The first was an agency client that was a global supplier of hot-metal machines and solutions. You might be surprised at how many trade journalists there were at the time covering the adhesives industry, so we had a good pool of prospects from which to draw. Bringing news media onsite was a first for this company, and it resulted in about half a dozen very positive industry-specific stories running in the months that followed the trip.

The second example is when Saturn introduced its cars in Japan. Saturn invited several top Japanese auto journalists to Spring Hill, Tennessee, to test out its vehicles in a day-long ride-and drive event. And believe me, they did a thorough job of testing them, including seeing how well they could handle fast-paced curves in the Middle Tennessee countryside. (It’s also where I saw a memorable sign in a small-town grocery store we passed through that proudly proclaimed: “We sell Kroger ice cream.”)

The Japanese journalists got to meet with Saturn senior management and engineers; tour the plant; attend a briefing with short presentations about what’s going on with the company; and participate in group Q&As and even one-on-one meetings, if desired.

Both of these events generated post-event coverage, but even if media trips don’t produce immediate results, they are still important because they strengthen relationships with reporters who cover your client’s industry, giving them in-person access to senior management and the opportunity to be onsite. The dividends from such trips will unfold over time.

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Seeking to Duck Controversy, A&E Becomes Duck Soup

I support Phil Robertson and his right to express his faith and his beliefs.As I wrote in a Tennessean op-ed column several years ago, whether you believe the Bible teaches that the practice of homosexuality is wrong or that condemning it is the greater offense, you have to admire the masterful public relations machine employed by the gay-rights community.

With great patience and PR skill, GBLT advocates have made incremental gains over the years by consistently advancing their cause as alternative lifestyles. As with any PR initiative that aims to change public opinion, they recognized early on the importance of winning over opinion leaders in Hollywood, the news media, government and education, and they proceeded to do so with great success.

In textbook style, gay-rights advocates have consistently positioned themselves as loving victims and repositioned those who disagree with them as hateful, ignorant bigots, similar to the way Scope so effectively cast Listerine as “medicine breath.”

Every once in a while, though, the T&T (Talk & Thought) Police go too far and there’s a backlash. Such was the case with last year’s Chick-fil-A controversy, which I wrote about from a PR perspective in a Baptist Press article.

Now another backlash is brewing, this one over remarks made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. What did Robertson say that got folks so riled? He had the audacity to warn people not to be deceived about what the Bible calls sin, citing I Corinthians 6:9-10. Talk publicly about the Bible and sin, and feathers will fly every time.

Robertson, like many millions of Christians (including me), refuses to conform his religious convictions to accommodate those who seek to legitimize a lifestyle he believes the Bible teaches is wrong. Speak truth and presto, we have instant “hate speech.”

Referencing the controversy, CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted, “Just as the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t protect assault rifle devotees, so the 1st Amendment shouldn’t protect vile bigots.”

Morgan apparently believes that free speech should apply only to those who agree with him, and that he should be among the ones judging what is appropriate to say. Anyone who disagrees is, well, a vile bigot. Robertson was a bit crude in some of his language, but he’s not vile or a bigot.

If you want to see real bigotry and hate, read some of the things that have been said and written about Sarah Palin.

Agree or disagree with him, at least Robertson has a standard – the Bible. What standard would Morgan use to determine right and wrong? His own wisdom and insight? God help us . . .

As a society, we moved from adherence to traditional Judeo-Christian values to an obsession with tolerance and political correctness. Now we’re seeing a rising movement away from tolerance to suppression of speech and ideas that are unpopular with a large segment of liberal influencers.

People of faith have rights, too, and many are fed up with the clear teachings of the Bible being labeled as hate speech by individuals who either refuse to engage in conversation or lack the capacity to substantively discuss such issues, preferring instead to simply shut down expressions of alternative points of view.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is already feeling the heat in what is being called the biggest backlash in years.

The biggest loser, though, will be A&E. The network’s knee-jerk response to suspend Robertson lit a fire under his fans and scores of others who believe in free speech.

A&E could have simply issued a statement saying that Robertson’s views are his own, and that they do not reflect the views of the network. That’s PR 101, and it would have put an end to this thing pretty quickly.

My friend and PR colleague Chris Turner has written a post on his blog about the controversy titled, “Three interview tips you can learn from Phil Robertson.” I intentionally waited to read it until I finished writing this post so that it didn’t influence my thinking. Chris makes some great points about working with places like GQ. I previously wrote a similar post about ways to counter media bias, including my advice to avoid media outlets you know aren’t going to give you a fair shake.

In Robertson’s case, though, I’m not so sure he didn’t know exactly what he was doing. Look at how much conversation there has been about sin, morality and the Bible the last few days – which as a Christian is conversation he welcomes.

 

Blogger and News Media Pitches Both Require This

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One of the things I’ve learned from spending many years in media relations is that identifying your target publicity outlets is half the battle. The other half has to do with getting the right pitch to the right person at the right time. In other words, you need to customize your pitch.

The same is true when it comes to approaching bloggers for guest posts. Lindsay Bell, the self-described “boss lady” of a popular blog called Spin Sucks, does a nice job of describing a “killer pitch” and what made it that way in a post titled “The keys to nailing a cold pitch.” I highly recommend you take a few minutes to read it.

As I read it several days ago, I was reminded once again about the similarity of principles when presenting a story idea to a reporter and a guest post idea to a blogger.

Generic, one-size-fits-all pitches – whether they are made to news media or bloggers – usually have a low rate of success.

Just this morning I had two e-mails in my inbox about doing guest posts, only in this case they wanted me to post on their sites. Both e-mails were very brief and looked like they were mass produced; there was nothing customized about them at all.

The first e-mail contained an attachment with a list of more than 40 sites, along with each site’s domain authority and page rank. Handy information to have, but not a single site appeared to deal with PR issues. So, why would I be interested in doing a guest post on any of them? Oh, and the e-mail mentioned these were sites for sponsored/paid posting. Definitely not interested in that.

The second e-mail was from a blogger in another country who simply said he was in need of guest articles for his sites, and that I should get back to him if I’m interested. No listing of the URLs for his sites or even what topics they cover. The e-mail focused on his need, rather than explaining how doing a guest post on one of his sites could potentially benefit me.

Compare that with the “killer pitch” example Lindsey describes. Not only are they light years apart in content, but they’re also going to be light years apart in the results they generate.

Taking the time to research a target media outlet or blog, understand its focus and get a handle on its audience are all necessary steps if you don’t want to waste your – and the recipient’s – time.

There simply is no substitute for doing your homework and customizing a pitch if you want to increase your odds for success.

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Macy’s Takes Unfair Hit in PR Industry Publication

Macys large__9389807862While allegations of news media bias have been around for a long time, it seems as though the problem keeps getting worse.

Sure, the way we see the world affects how we write about it, but there’s no excuse for distorting or outright misrepresenting facts because one has an axe to grind. When a journalist’s credibility is damaged by biased reporting, whatever he or she writes from that point on is inevitably suspect.

Yesterday I came across an article in Ragan’s PR Daily titled, “Macy’s blames customers for Thanksgiving opening” that struck me as particularly egregious. It’s a great example of a writer’s bias distorting the facts and running amok with his conclusions.

The story was about Macy’s decision to stay open Thanksgiving night. I’m sure the writer, Kevin Allen, is a good guy, and he certainly has an impressive journalistic background. According to his bio, he previously served as an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, ESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications.

I have nothing personally against Mr. Allen; I just think he ought to know better than to write such a distorted piece based on assumptions that may or may not be accurate.

I’m also wondering why PR Daily didn’t put “Opinion” or “Commentary” at the top, because it sure wasn’t what I would call an industry news article.

  • Let’s start with the headline – Macy’s is blaming its customers for something?!!  That didn’t sound like very good corporate PR to me.

It was a good headline in the sense that it peaked my interest and got me to read the article (see my previous post about effective headline writing), but it didn’t reflect reality. 

Macy’s wasn’t “blaming” it’s customers for anything.

So, in that sense, it was a poor, misleading headline because as I read the article it was apparent that Macy’s was simply accommodating its customers’ desires—in this case responding to their interest in shopping early—which is how successful companies operate.

As I noted in the comments section of this article, I’m not defending Macy’s decision. Personally I think that the real meaning and purpose of holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas have been diminished by the emphasis on materialism, which is largely driven by retail. That said, let’s stick to the facts, please.

  • Mr. Allen writes that Macy’s polled its employees, asking them if they were willing (not wanted) to work on Thanksgiving evening.

It would be a rare person who would want to work during that time, but some people may not be able to travel to spend the holiday with family, and rather than sit home alone would appreciate the extra income.

  • While acknowledging the poll results aren’t public – an admission that he really doesn’t know the results – Mr. Allen assumes he knows what they must be.

Based on that assumption, he concludes that “Macy’s management doesn’t particularly give a flying hoot what its employees prefer.” Again, no evidence of this, merely the writer’s feelings of what must be in the cold, dark hearts of the evil capitalists who love to exploit their workers.

Ironically, in a previous article by Mr. Allen on this topic, he cites a supposed Macy’s poll question which includes this statement to employees: “We will do our best to honor your preferences.”

If the “miserly and heartless” (his words) managers didn’t care, it seems to me they wouldn’t have bothered to ask their employees whether they would be willing to work Thanksgiving evening before making a decision one way or the other.

It’s certainly legitimate to criticize Macy’s decision (count me as one who doesn’t support it), but there’s no justification for spinning the story and misrepresenting the facts.

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Know and Avoid Reporters’ Pet Peeves for Ad Agency PR Success

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The other day I read a blog post about things PR people do that journalists hate. Their list of pet peeves really wasn’t surprising to me, because I’ve heard or read the same basic concerns expressed a number of times throughout my PR career. I’ve also experienced some of those irritations during my days as a reporter.

Their advice to PR representatives when trying to interest a reporter in a story included:

  •  “Invest the time to understand a reporter’s beat and recent coverage before hitting the ‘send’ button.”
  • “Tailor your pitch and have modest goals.”
  • “Make every effort to know my readers and my style, be creative, and by all means please, please, please don’t bore me.”

 In other words, make the right pitch to the right person at the right time.

One suggestion I didn’t see on the list but which I’ve found very useful is to ask a reporter for advice if you’re new to the industry and trying to get up to speed. I have to credit a former boss, John Van Mol, with first suggesting this simple yet savvy approach.

This is a tactic I use sparingly because it often isn’t appropriate. The more of a niche industry it is, and the more significant a player the client is in that industry, the better this advice-seeking approach can work.

After doing your homework (see the three bullet points above), I suggest starting with an introductory e-mail to the appropriate reporter, saying your agency is representing a client in the industry he or she covers. As someone new to the industry, explain that you’re trying to learn all you can to make sure the news releases and story ideas you send are useful and properly targeted.

You may also want to ask for input about the best way to learn about the industry and the best way to work with him or her. Ideally, you’ll be able to follow your e-mail with a scheduled call during a time the reporter is not on deadline.

Of course some reporters won’t give you the time of day if you make such a request, but some will and the upsides can be significant. Like everyone else, reporters enjoy talking about their work and what interests them, yet few people take time to ask these types of questions before making a pitch.

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Know Which Words to Use and Avoid for Ad Agency PR Success

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Mark Twain once remarked that “the difference between the right word and the almost right world is the difference between lightening and the lighting bug.”

No where is that more true than in the world of journalism, which has its own particular style of language usage.

Recently I came across an article titled “20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch.” I sure didn’t want that to happen, so I read through the list to identify these “cursed words,” as the article described them.

You can read the list of words the article warns will sabotage your pitches and news release here. If you get as far as the comments section at the end, you’ll see additional words submitted by readers as candidates to add to the banned list.

“The reporters not only ignore these, they hold them up as points of mockery,” said.
Michael Smart, principal for MichaelSMARTPR. He and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue drew up the list of words and phrases that they say undermine a writer’s creditability.

The real problem with these 20 words is that they are more suitable for advertising copy than a news release or pitch letter.

Why is this a big deal?

Because there’s a big difference between the words and phrases used in advertising and journalism. Ad agencies that don’t understand this difference will have a hard time being successful with their publicity efforts or even being taken seriously.

Reporters are very sensitive to attempts to disguise advertising as news or use promotional language to hype a product, service, cause or company. They can sniff these out from a considerable distance, and it’s the quickly way to have your content tossed in the trash or deleted.

To be considered credible by the news media, you have to write your pitch as objectively as possible, emphasizing its news, trend or human interest aspect. Or, if you want to be considered as a source, focus on your expertise to comment on a particular topic and provide insights.

Being familiar with The Associated Press Stylebook will help you use appropriate journalism language and avoid faux pas. Think of it as a pocket language guide you’d want to take with when traveling to another country so that you can converse with locals.

The best way to maximize your chance of landing news media coverage is to write and think like a reporter – and, of course, have a good story to tell.

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Eight Tips for Ad Agency PR Spokespersons

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In my previous post, I discussed the traits of highly effective spokespersons. If you have that role at your ad agency, here are a few thoughts from someone who’s been in your shoes:

1. Make sure you have the full support and backing of agency management before saying a word publicly about a particular issue.

2. Always go into an interview or news conference fully prepared. Know the subject matter inside out, and have people practice asking you questions and critiquing your responses.

3. Have a few key points you want to make, and find ways to work them into the conversation.

4. If you don’t know something, say so and offer to get back to the reporter with the answer as soon as possible.

5. Never try to bluff your way through—more likely than not, bluffing will come back to bite you.

6. Never deny the obvious. Sounds like common senses, doesn’t it? But it’s amazing how many people and organizations do that in hopes that things will change just because they deny there’s a problem. Trust me, that won’t work.

7. Record the interview or news conference. That way, if you’re grossly misquoted, you’ll have a way to prove what you actually said.

8. If the situation you’re dealing with could have significant ramifications for your agency and/or a client, get professional outside help. Individual consultants and firms that have experience dealing with news media day in and day out can provide valuable objectivity and expertise, and they’ll help keep you focused, on track and maintaining proper perspective.

And remember, you’re going to make mistakes—just try to make sure they aren’t big ones. IF you misspeak, don’t hesitate to correct yourself immediately or as quickly after the interview as possible.

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This past week was not a good for print news media.

For starters, a PewResearchCenter poll found that only 29% of Americans surveyed said they read a newspaper the previous day, with only 23%  reading a print version.

The survey also found that Americans still like to read, with 51% saying they enjoy reading a lot, but an increasing number of them are reading papers digitally.

Print magazine and book reading are also down significantly, the poll found.

Then, it was disclosed that “senior figures” at the UKGuardian and Observer newspapers were “seriously discussing” ending print editions and going entirely online.

Finally, Newsweek announced that it will go to an all-digital format, ending a nearly 80-year reign in print. In covering this announcement The Wall Street Journal noted, “The switch will make Newsweek the most widely read magazine yet that has given up on the print media, a signpost of how traditional print news outlets are being battered by an exodus of readers and advertisers to the Web.”

In today’s edition of The Journal, “Sentiment Tracker: A computational analysis of the conversations on social networks,” found only 10% saying they’ll miss the print version. The following are a few snippets of online reaction, as reported by The Journal:

  •  “Congratulations to Newsweek: You are now a blog!”
  • “No one bought the mag. And no one will subscribe for digital membership.”
  • “The problems are deeper than the digital revolution.”
  • “Will all magazines be doing this soon?”

For many of the surviving print publications, these pressures have resulted in reductions of staff and coverage, and in my opinion their overall quality and relevance have suffered.

A print newspaper that once dominated a market now finds itself facing competition from Internet sites that focus on local news, as well as blogs. To make matters even worse, many people are not willing to pay for online news.

For PR people, there’s good and bad news in all this. The bad news is that it’s getting tougher to get stories placed in print publications. But on the positive side, more choices exists for outlets to cover news and feature stories.

A number of years ago I had a medical client in another state that wanted publicity in the local market. One newspaper dominated the entire market. I crafted one good story pitch after another, each of which had a strong local angle—only to find each one rejected by the local paper.

This client did quite a bit of advertising with the local paper, so one day I decided to call the ad rep and see if I could get some insight into why I was having such difficulty getting anyone at the paper to give me the time of day. After sharing my tale of woe, the ad rep replied, “I hear that all the time!”

She went on to disclose a bit of her frustration—as well as the frustration expressed by so many of the local advertisers with whom she was in regular contact—that the editorial staff simply refused to consider ideas from the outside. If the reporters didn’t come up with the idea, it wasn’t worth exploring.

That sort of arrogance, combined with being out of touch with the community the paper served, is one example of why so many people are looking elsewhere for news and information.

Most print newspapers also have an online version these days, but if they aren’t covering stories their customers want to hear about, neither format is going to do very well in the face of increased competition.

Another benefit to the explosion of online for ad agency and small business PR is that much more information is available about the types of stories particular reporters are interested in covering, along with their personal preferences, likes and dislikes. You can learn a lot by reading a reporter’s blog, online archive of stories or by following him/her on Twitter or Facebook.

Of course the reason winners are consumers, because they now have more choices than ever for where and how they get their news. Print reporters would do well to consider that before automatically dismissing story ideas because they didn’t think of them first.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to advertising agencies and businesses.

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Decline of Print Media Presents Challenges and Opportunities for Ad Agency PR