Where Did You Get Your News Yesterday?

In the battle between traditional and digital media, the facts don’t lie. Newsweek moved to an all digital format.The Boston Phoenix shut down permanently. And percentage of people reading a daily newspaper fell 18% from 2002 to 2012. It would appear digital is winning the war. Yet, more often than not, clients ask me “is this article for the print edition?” and then seem disappointed when I mention that it will only be online.

But digital has many advantages:

  • Targeted Audience - RSS feeds from a select group of media outlets can yield more high-quality, focused content than traditional print newspapers - putting your company news in front of the eyeballs that matter to you most.
  • Faster Delivery - traditional media only arrives on your doorstep once a day or once a month, depending on the publication.  Digital outlets have the ability to update stories in real time and only take seconds to deliver the news via email alerts.
  • Younger Demographics – to date there are more than 113.9 million mobile internet users and many news outlets (including Boston.com) that optimize their mobile news content to reach highly desired millennials.

Now, this is not to say that companies should focus solely on digital media. Traditional print and broadcast outlets still have enormous value. During the recent Boston Marathon attack, people turned to their local broadcast affiliates for live reports.  Marginal news viewers came out of the woodwork and flocked to Boston’s legacy station, WCVB Channel 5.  Even though all stations were running constant live coverage within 10 minutes of the tragedy, WCVB captured an 11.3 rating (35 share) - more than double its competitors.

The battle between traditional and digital media may never be over, and the solution is clear. A well-rounded public relations strategy, including print magazines/newspapers, broadcast outlets and digital media is always best. Focus on trusted outlets rather than the method of distribution. After all, the numbers don’t lie - a “post” on the New York Times Bits blog can reach as many – if not more – of your target audience as a print story in the paper’s Sunday tech section.

Christine Williamson is a senior consultant at Greenough. Follow her on Twitter @ChristineDBW