Is It in Print?
As PR professionals, one of the questions we get asked all the time is whether a story will be in print. Sometimes I think it's the clients' favorite question to ask, but is also very outdated and not nearly as important as it once was.
Many people assume a print story carries more prestige than an online story ("It was on A1, above the fold!"), and though this was once a long held truth by both communications professionals and journalists, this is no longer the case. Why you ask? Let's look at the facts.
News reporting happens around the clock—daytime, evening, middle of the night and even weekends. It never stops and with competition hitting an all-time high—the result of many things, among them the 2008 financial crisis which caused everyone to tighten their belts and prove their worth—media outlets can't wait for the next day's print edition to break a story. Today, stories break as they happen.
Secondly, print readership is at an all-time low. And with personal mobile device usage on the rise and continuing to grow, no one expects this to reverse course. Therefore, in order to stay profitable, media outlets have switched their focus to putting more time and money into promoting and developing their online presence and offerings.
Furthermore, more and more firms are now leveraging PR to build brand awareness and generate interest in their products and services by driving traffic to their websites, something that cannot be done by a print article. Print pieces don't allow for hyperlinks and instead have to hope that someone is so interested in what was written that they go online and search for it. The story has to grab readers' attention and hold it for much longer to encourage the reader to follow-up.
Finally, the beauty of online media is that there are more areas for content to be promoted. All of the major media outlets have multiple sections online dedicated to very specific topics and industries, many more than their print edition would. This gives businesses a greater opportunity for exposure via a lead story.