Beginning in about 2007, I essentially began screaming to anyone who would listen — all three of you — that the sky was falling.
It was a pretty simple formula, even then, before Facebook became the Wal-Mart of social media — everything to everyone. Consumer media consumption habits were changing and people were getting news in different ways — from online to mobile; Craigslist was killing newspaper revenues and online ad buys were killing TV advertising with a few exceptions that actually remain today; and as a result, reporters were losing jobs and it began to drastically shrink newsrooms.
In 2011 on this blog, I wrote about the diminished value of the news release. Even then — when we were more broadly seeing the sky fall — some out-of-touch old-timers told me I was smoking the pipe.
Now, flash forward to 2013 and the havoc is even more distinctive: mobile is everything, social sharing is how more people get their news every day, no one watches TV news, reporters have eight beats to cover and no time to report on stories they are interested in, and the list goes on.
If you think news releases are effective outside of SEO, you may want to visit Dr. Drew. If you are not intimately familiar with the actual culture of social networking — not that you use Facebook or Twitter but that you truly “get” what makes people react and take action — you will be lost. If you don’t have an intrinsic understanding of the value of search on reputation management and social content optimization, well, you’re up shit’s creek without a paddle.
Just have a look below at Pew Research’s 2013 State of News Media and digest what this really means. If you think pumping out news releases to get the attention of leading reporters will help your company or clients; if don’t you think PR should not be linked at every turn with your social strategy; if you don’t think SEO is a top priority – please, find a new profession.