The reason that subscription rates for daily newspapers are dropping is not because people are opting to read them for free online. The reason that subscriptions are dropping on everything from the New York Times to the Atlanta Journal Constitution is that we, as consumers of news, are no longer waiting for the dailies to dictate for us what is newsworthy. Instead we’re out using our own aggregators and media filters to select our own news.
It used to be that AP and UPI decided what was newsworthy, based on what their reporters saw that day and the thousands of press releases that came across their wire. Subsequently they would filter news to the dailies and voila today’s news appeared on your doorstep by 7AM.
In an era of 24-hour news consumption the model has changed and that is why you have to change your media model, too.
Consumers are no longer content to wait for their 7AM paper nor are their happy with the filters used to dictate what is news. That is why we’re seeing so much success among news distribution points that go straight to the consumer.
Both Yahoo and Google allow you to search only on “news” items, essentially press releases. But you don’t have to do a daily query. If you don’t have Google News Alerts set already, you should try it. It’s a great way to capture all news on any particular subject (like your company, your competition or you) and have Google Email it to you as often as you want.
But the point of the diatribe was not to show you neat tools for reading the news but to make sure you were taking into consideration the true consumers of your news releases each and every time you write them. The life of a press release shouldn’t stop at the wire service or the inbox of your target media. By now you’ve probably already thought to put it on your website (newsrooms are great sources of info to learn about a company) but I hope that you are also sending it out to your customers and prospects.
Sometimes “news” is a great excuse to remind or reconnect. And that is why youv’e got to keep you ultimate audience in mind when crafting those releases.
Now that you thought about the “why,” Gail Martin provides some nice tips on “how” to write for the consumer.