Clients want it. Publicists work for it. But not everyone can have it. That’s right. I said it. Not every brand can be a cover model.
It’s an ugly reality, but we all need to accept it. Particularly as print publications, even well-established icons like Gourmet, cease publication. With less publications to cover the same amount of, if not more, content, the battle for the cover, or even a column, can only become more intense. So how will this new world work? Is it possible that the day will come where clients won’t want print hits? (Even I thought that sounded a little funny as I wrote it. Can we say ‘pipe dream?’) But, seriously. How will it work?
The Perfect Solution
As the print hole continues to shrink at an alarming rate, one can only hope that the truly groundbreaking, unique, compelling and newsworthy dominates the print space that remains. Pay-for-play would be a figment of our imaginations. Ad reps would not reply to editorial pitches in lieu of their appropriate counterparts.
But let’s face it – that just isn’t going to be the ‘new’ reality.
Where It’s Headed
I think it is reasonable to assume that with less space available, the value of what remains can only escalate. An advertising equivalency will not accurately translate the value of editorial coverage. And let us accept that the less who can have it, the more who will want it. That’s just how it works.
Ad revenues are already declining rapidly, so you can bet that the editorial wall can only become more illusive. Less editorial coverage means less editorial staff. Less staff means more shared, and less original, content.
What this Dismal Reality Means to PR
It goes without saying that quality over quantity isn’t going to be an option; it’s going to be a mandate. Conceivably, 140 characters could become the appropriate length for email pitches – not just Twitter pitches. Phone pitches will be delivered in a matter of seconds.
What do you think the new value of print will be? How do you see PR pros maintaining their ability to garner print placements in an increasingly competitive landscape?