Newsweek, the iconic weekly magazine that has graced mailboxes since 1933, will cease print publication and transition to a digital-only business model, its owners announced this week. The demise of yet another print publication should prompt public relations teams to reconsider how they approach their own profession. Here are four observations:
1. The concept of “deadlines” is dying. Rather than operate solely under daily or weekly deadlines, journalists and editors are now expected to generate content on an hourly basis via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and web content. Public relations pros need to keep up, engaging journalists, bloggers, and industry observers on a more regular basis.
2. Advertising budgets must shift. With Newsweek shutting down its printers, the sun continues to fade on print advertising in favor on online advertising. We learned this week that online ad spending will surpass print ad spending for the first time in 2012. That migration will only continue as print formats like Newsweek’s go extinct.
3. Fish where the fish are. With social media and blogs, journalists are now building their own personal brands in addition to serving their employer. They can interact directly with their audiences whenever they want 24/7. Smart PR pros are turning this social dialogue into a two-way street, engaging reporters and correcting the record about their companies and industries when needed.
4. Don’t underestimate relationships. PR pros who think their job is now limited to tweeting and clicking do themselves and their employers a disservice. Like every other line of work, public relations thrives on personal relationships with journalists and editors. Your reputation with a local editor could be the difference between a feature story and no story when it comes to your employer’s big announcement. So step away from your desk, walk down the street, and meet that reporter for a cup of coffee.