PR Agencies Starting to Bypass Journalists and Make Pitches Directly to Consumers
Public-releations agencies are no longer relying on journalists in their efforts to create publicity, Ad Age reports.
As the body count of magazines and daily newspapers continues to rise and the once-robust news and feature holes of surviving publications shrink along with reporting staffs, some marketers have given up on the traditional path to media coverage: pitching journalists. According to the website Paper Cuts, which tracks layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers, nearly 30,000 reporters have left the industry since the beginning of 2008. [I’m not so sure this is correct, Erica Smith’s website tracks layoffs and buyouts of all newspaper employees, not just reporters. — Jeff P.] So instead of pitching their stories to reporters, a growing number of marketers are directly engaging consumers through original content they and their agencies are creating.
“The traditional one-way media model has definitely had its day,” said Sam Lucas, chair of U.S. brand marketing at WPP’s Burson-Marsteller. “So agencies are talking to clients about these engagement models much more.”
And while they haven’t completely abandoned traditional media outlets, big-name marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Best Buy, MasterCard and Coldwell Banker are among those who have taken matters into their own hands by creating content and bringing it straight to consumers.