Traditional Media Isn’t Dead

April 15, 2019


Hi everyone! Crayton Webb, Owner and CEO of Sunwest Communications with Two Minutes of Advice today from Sunwest. Today we’re gonna talk about storytelling. We all have a narrative, a story we want to tell, and many people are using social media to get that out there, but the truth is, is traditional media isn’t dead. Lots of newspapers might be going away or shrinking. People talk about viewership with traditional evening news and local newscasts going down, but the fact is there’s still a lot of cache if you can get a story placed in the local newspaper or on the local broadcast station, or even the radio station – both for your clients, your customers, or even your internal stakeholders (your boss). Sunwest was delighted recently to host an event with a couple of veteran journalists from Texas who cover business and they gave their five secrets on how to get the attention of traditional media reporters. The first thing they talked about was the relationship, that relationships, face to face, voice to voice, are not dead and that if reporters know you, they’re much more likely to give you a fair shake or cover your story. The joke is reporters are like mechanics – the better they know you, the less likely they are to give you a raw deal. So the idea is to build a relationship when times are good and not just when you’ve got something to pitch. Second is approach. Reporters are humans – they like to be respected and treated politely and you gotta understand the pressures – the tremendous timing pressures – that reporters are under every single day. So think about their time, and you might have to be persistent but polite. Third – and this one’s meaty – it’s exclusivity. Lots of times, PR folks will send out news releases to everybody. It’s almost like a spaghetti against the wall approach. But think about quality instead of quantity. And a lot of reporters that cover things other than the news of the day, like profile and feature stories. If they know that everybody’s getting it, they don’t want it. Fourth – and this is important – access to your leadership. If you’ve got a consumer product that you’re selling or that your client or your company is debuting, a lot of reporters will say, “Well that’s great. Just call the Advertising Department and buy some advertising.” But if you’re willing to give them access to your C-Suite, those individuals who are CEOs and experts and allow them to be quotable, you’ve got a much better chance of getting some coverage and a reporter who will bite. And finally is local timeliness. Is the story, is the pitch local and is it timely and fit in with other things that are in the news. And so no matter whether you’re getting a placement in traditional news in Duluth or in Detroit, you can always scale it on social media and make it a national placement. And that’s Two Minutes of Advice today from Sunwest Communications.