With the rise of social media, many “experts” have predicted the demise of traditional media, whether for information dissemination, advertising, marketing or PR.
One of our readers recently commented, “I am not so sure I need access to a traditional reporter anymore!”
Though I encourage my clients and students to include social media in their PR strategy, I would not advise anybody to drop traditional media.
It may seem that the traditional media are losing their usefulness. Many newspapers and magazines have folded. More and more people are turning to social networks first to get the news. And popular bloggers are reaching incredible numbers of people.
All this is true.
However, we still need traditional media for PR. Here are five reasons why:
1. Traditional media are instantly recognizable.
Chances are, the average person recognizes your city’s newspaper faster and more easily than the most popular blog in your area. Traditional media have been around longer than social media, and many have built recognizable and credible brands.
2. Traditional media give you instant status.
Because traditional media are recognizable and often seen as credible, getting exposure through them gives you instant status and credibility. On the other hand, being interviewed for a blog or web TV may not have the same effect.
3. Traditional media still reach vast audiences.
As long as a traditional media outlet is still publishing or airing, chances are it continues to reach a large enough audience to keep it viable. This is why many online stories take off only after traditional media outlets talk about them.
4. Social media feed on traditional media.
Bloggers often write about what’s going on in traditional media, whether it’s a new TV ad or a story that ran recently in the news. If you land an interview in traditional media, you’re likely to catch the attention of social media as well. Furthermore, appearing in traditional media gives you something to post about in your own blog and on social networks.
5. Traditional media have huge social media presence.
Most traditional media outlets also have an Internet presence, such as blogs and social networking profiles. Those with websites usually get more traffic than even the most popular blogs.
So if you were ready to ditch traditional media for social media—don’t! You still need traditional media to reach an audience and establish your credibility.
The most important thing is to target those media outlets that your target market is consuming, whether it’s a digital medium or a non-digital one. Chances are, you’ll do best to have a mix of both.
Elena Verlee is a serial entrepreneur, certified professional coach and PR professional who blogs at PR in your pajamas.