For years, we’ve seen the traditional media landscape shrink both in the Tampa Bay area and nationally. Newspapers across the country have shuttered and newsrooms have shrunk by half their size or more.
Tampa Bay was one of the last U.S. markets that still had two daily newspapers, but that changed earlier this week as the Tampa Bay Times bought and closed down the Tampa Tribune.
So what does this purchase mean for organizations that have news to share and for the PR professionals who work on their behalf?
Organizations need to also get their news out in ways other than traditional media. Quality content creation is king, and that content needs to be distributed via various channels – newsletters, email marketing, blogs, videos and social media. Focus on “news you can use” that isn’t promotional. And make sure you have a quality, robust website. It lays the foundation for content sharing.
PR pros – and their clients – need to be selective and smart about what they are pitching. It’s the PR professional’s job to understand what is newsworthy for each outlet and reporter, and to provide realistic expectations to clients on what will garner interest from traditional media and what will not.
Strong relationships matter more now than ever before. Having solid relationships with reporters, editors and producers has always been an important tool in any good PR pro’s toolbox, but it becomes even more vital as newsrooms shrink. These relationships are built on knowing about industry trends and other information that will help reporters in their jobs every day.
Don’t overlook less obvious news media opportunities. As traditional media continues to evolve and daily newspapers shrink or disappear, other opportunities present themselves. Hyperlocal news websites and community papers in the Tampa Bay area and Central Florida like The Laker/Lutz News, West Orange Times, Beach Beacon and Largo Leader are thriving and enjoy strong readership in their markets. Also, business-focused publications and industry trade outlets like GlobeSt.com, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Business Observer and American Banker are thriving and reach highly targeted audiences.