Evolving Your PR Approach as Newspapers Shrink

By | 2017-11-09T19:49:34+00:00 January 10, 2017|

I have been lamenting recent changes to the print edition of the Wall Street Journal.

In November, the paper eliminated the Personal Journal section, and now the paper is down to just two sections on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This isn’t the first time. I’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal in print daily since joining the financial services industry in the late 1980s. I remember a paper with no photos and no color—and a lot more paper. In fact, I remember a daily column dedicated just to mutual funds. Ah, the good old days.

The reality is that the news media has changed and continues to change dramatically. Print readership has declined and online and mobile readership has grown—though not enough to replace lost revenue from print ads and classifieds. Also, people spend much more time gathering information from non-media sources like LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs.

As traditional news media continues to evolve, successful public relations approaches likewise evolve:

  • Continue to read and stay connected to key beat reporters covering your industry. While there may be fewer reporters covering financial services, those that do continue to be well read across multiple media platforms—in print, online, and via social networks. Be available to respond to inquiries in a timely manner. Share newsworthy insights.
  • Create your own thought leadership. Whether you contribute to your company’s blog, write quarterly investment commentary, pen a newsletter article for clients, or create a whitepaper on an important insight into today’s investment climate, you should regularly articulate what you do well and how your process is consistent and repeatable.
  • Expand your social media presence. Many advisors and fund company executives point to compliance as a reason not to be active on social media. But smart financial services professionals are able to create content for social media that compliance can approve. Post your own content on LinkedIn. Re-tweet relevant articles from media who cover your area of expertise. Tweet a link to your own content on your website.

While in the past, an article in the Wall Street Journal or a home-run feature in a financial publication would fill your pipeline with thousands of potential clients, today’s process has fewer home runs and requires many more singles and doubles. It also requires time and effort to fine tune your message, write useful and insightful content and stay connected. But all that is worth it in order to build your brand and develop great content that you control. And while newspapers may be shrinking, there are more platforms and opportunities than ever to distribute your message and connect to your audience—maybe even the Wall Street Journal.