It is no secret the media industry is changing. What is less clear to many organizations we meet with is what it will look like in the future. To shine some light on this question, consider these four charts.

How consumers get their news:

Pew Research Center finds that consumers are most likely to get their news by clicking directly to a news organization’s website, with social media ranked as the second most likely source. What the study does not explore is that much of the news consumers read on social media originates with those same news organizations. The lesson is that traditional media still sets the tone for many stories, but their coverage is influenced by who shares it online. See below:

Mobile to surpass broadband:

Mobile data usage will officially surpass fixed broadband next year, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. What does that mean for PR pros? Mobile data is synonymous with social media, where there is no such thing as a news cycle. Journalists are opining on your company and your industry on a minute-by-minute basis. Companies in the public crosshairs must be mindful of how quickly stories move on these platforms.

Newspapers feel the crunch:

Employment at newspaper newsrooms has plummeted by roughly one-third since 2004, according to Pew Research. That means fewer journalists are around to cover the stories your clients think are newsworthy. So, be creative in how you approach those journalists – or how you convince clients to promote what they think is newsworthy in alternative ways.

The rise of podcasts:

The number of consumers listening to podcasts at least monthly doubled in the last five years. At current rates, half of U.S. consumers will be listening to podcasts monthly by 2021. PR professionals must factor podcast publishers into their strategic mix, especially if their target audience is affluent and tech savvy. See Pew’s data here.