Andrew Rossi’s film “Page One: Inside The New York Times” has brought to light the crux of the print media industry in all of its age-old, black-and-white glory. A surge of bloggers identifying as journalists combined with the overhaul of print media’s advertising structure and high publishing costs has every newspaper asking itself “what can we do to prevent our extinction?”
Narrated by Times’ media columnist David Carr, the film calls out an unlikely partnership between the Gray Lady and Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. The movie quips that although the two teamed up to expose the Baghdad “collateral murder” of July 2007, Wikileaks didn’t need The New York Times to make an impact—unlike Daniel Ellsberg.
Light years ahead of where media stood in the 1970s, today’s realm of instant access to information means a single YouTube video has the power to blow wide open one of the largest military scandals to date. But how, as PR pros, can we utilize this new media landscape?
Develop a strong brand message. As Carr succinctly states in the film, “Mediums are not messages. The messages are the mediums.” The world of media is continually reinvented, and every medium used to share information today will one day cease to exist. No matter how frequently or drastically communications channels change, we are obligated to deliver strong, consistent messages that resonate with our clients’ target audience.
Remain adaptable and agile. A typical day for PR pros has evolved from writing press releases, drafting speaking abstracts and staffing media interviews to a day that also includes Tweeting, creating infographics and developing iPhone applications. To be the best in the business, PR pros must continually learn from industry leaders, collaborate across the agency and challenge each other to push the envelope.
Stay ahead of the curve. The biggest mistake an agency can make is to consume itself with communications tactics of today and lose sight of what’s on the horizon. It is always better to experiment with new, innovative communications mediums than remain stagnant and risk losing relevancy.
These are exciting times for the PR industry. We are constantly on the brink of a revolution. While the Times has beefed up its new media desk with wunderkind bloggers and implemented a paywall for content to combat the debate for sustainable journalism, PR agencies must follow suit with a sustainable communications strategy. What are you doing to adapt?