Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Meet the Media" but For How Long?

I attended a fun event this morning out in Tysons Corner. It was a "Meet the Media" event put on by the good people at BusinessWire. Today's event had a great panel of local, hard working, respected journalists:

  • Bill Flook, Washington Business Journal
  • Gautham Nagesh, The Hill
  • Rob Pegoraro, The Washington Post
  • Paul Sherman, Potomac Tech Wire
  • Nick Wakeman, Washington Technology

I've attended a few of these events over the years- they are a good venue to see fellow marketers and communicators over danishes and coffee. However, they tend to be mostly the same with the same two messages...

PR people- I emailed you and no one responded- how do I get my press release picked up by your publication?

Press people- Stop spamming me and send me a great story how and when I need it, and, oh, be honest with me.

Given the decline in the media's business model (especially trade journalism) and the rise of social media, you would have thought that the issue of "how to pitch journalists" would have receded a bit in importance. But no. When I asked the panelists if they receive more or less pitches and whether those pitches were better or worse than before, every single one answered "more" and "worse." Not good.

It's especially noteworthy given that a B2B social media marketing campaign has as its core activity the creation (and distribution) of content to gain an audience (just like a media outlet). And now that corporations are hiring journalists to write and report on the industries they used to cover for trade mags, the relative decline of traditional journalism seems obvious. In a world where credible, valuable content is prized, no matter who created it, the PR world really needs to move past, "I emailed you and no one responded- how do I get my press release picked up by your publication?"
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