Is Traditional PR Still Relevant?

According to a study done by PR newswire “ In both the US and Canada, pitches through a social network resulted in coverage approximately 70% of the time. In contrast, the standard pitch to a US or Canadian journalist rarely leads to coverage, with 66% pegging the success rate at 0-20%.”

Needless to say social media has forever changed the way PR works.  Whereas the traditional media still offers the best validation and credibility, that sort of seal of approval and trust factor is becoming its primary function.  Sure, if you land a segment on the Today Show or an article in USA Today, you are still going to get a huge boost, but overall the landscape has changed dramatically.  It used to be you could launch a very effective traditional PR campaign without landing any of the major media coverage.  Trade, local and regional media could and did carry a campaign.  But just as the music world has been turned on its head, so has the world of traditional media.  There are fewer outlets and there is a smaller audience.

So, does this mean that traditional PR is dead.  No not by a long shot, but the game board has changed dramatically.  Traditional PR is still vitally important, but to be truly effective it needs to be augmented by different forms of outreach.  This is no longer the time to only reach out to writers, editors and producers. 

Social media has become as important as traditional media, but each has a different function and must be addressed in a different manner.  Neither one on its own is as powerful as the combination of the two.  Social media offers a conversational style of communication with a connection to your audience.  This generally requires greater transparency.  It is a different type of communication and can lead to stronger and deeper personal relationships.

Conversational style—PR people used to interact primarily with industry journalists. “Pitching” and “spinning” were terms often used (not always with a positive connotation) to describe much of that interaction. Those days are fading, which is welcome news to many PR practitioners as well as their audiences. Greater availability of information requires greater transparency, but also leads to richer conversations.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

Cwinters. “Media Free Agency.” Photo. Return on Reputation. 25 Oct 2010. 11 May 2012. <>


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