The Daily: Friend to PR or Just Another Set of Reporters?

With Rupert Murdoch’s much ballyhooed iPad-only daily newspaper, The Daily, now up and running, it’s time to consider its potential impact on the PR industry. Below is a series of thoughts and insights from various PRBC bloggers that we curated via e-mail conversations Wednesday.

Keith Trivitt: The Daily is like any other new publication that comes out: It’s incredibly exciting to see the new product, particularly the flow of news, who’s writing what, the columnists, etc. I’m a news junkie, so I love finding new publications.

As for the PR value of The Daily … eh, only time will tell. That’s waffling, I know, but we have to keep in mind that right now, it’s only available on the iPad (though reports have it soon branching out to other tablets and e-readers eventually), it’s not searchable on Google and the iPad still hasn’t reached a critical mass. Despite 15 million iPads sold thus far globally, that’s still nowhere near the mass distribution reach that, say, a new online-only newspaper could hope to reach.

The Daily won’t be a boon for PR until its distribution is broadened to more platforms and Google eventually starts indexing content from tablets and eReaders. Until then, it’s an exciting time for media because it means our overall business is starting to come out of the recession (though one could argue that at a $30 million initial investment, Rupert Murdoch would fund the space station if it meant beating his rival, The New York Times). I’m excited about the product, but not yet sold on its opportunities for PR pros.

PRCog: Another outlet to pitch (particularly one backed by Murdoch’s dollars) is always a good thing.  Then again, with a max reach of 15 million and news readership in the U.S. generally being pretty lousy, how many are going to spring for and bother reading it? Only time will tell.

Further, how many of us really need to pitch a national outlet. The great majority of businesses are small businesses, with a local focus (Keith: Great point. SMBs make up something like 97% of all American businesses …). Time for dollars comparison, and if I were a client, I’d rather have my PR agency hitting my audience, which is probably not the jet-setting, iPad-sporting, crowd.

Marie V–B: Magazines are also jumping on the iPad bandwagon. Parenting Magazine now has its iPad exclusive content with “Seasons,” which also features a different editorial staff. While I’m always excited about new PR opportunities for clients, I’m definitely keeping a close eye on how successful these launches really are. Right now in my household, the iPad, aka the other woman in my marriage, is being used more for “Angry Birds,” rather than an e-reader.

Keith: Tonya Garcia at PRNewser brought up an interesting question yesterday in her post about The Daily. She asked whether there might be opportunities for PR pros to “pitch multimedia content in addition to text stories and images.” That would be a novel idea. For the longest time, we’ve basically had text, images, video content and other semi-multimedia. But a truly multimedia product as part of a pitch could help bridge the gap between traditional media relations and the so-called social media press release that continues to languish.

So there are the thoughts of some of the PRBC bloggers and editors about the potential opportunities of The Daily for the PR business. What do you think? The comments are yours.

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  • Quickly following up on this post: An article from PRWeek UK on the PR value of The Daily has some interesting perspectives that mirror those in this post: http://ow.ly/3Qivs

    Of particular note: Some suggest that PR pros should invest more time and resources in improving their skills in interactive gaming and infographics, though others caution that because the iPad has yet to reach a mass audience (as we noted in the post above), the ROI for clients being in The Daily, at least for the time being, is debatable.

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