Public Relations

Regional newspapers and their role in PR

The circulation figures for regional daily newspapers have all decreased.

The six-monthly ABC figures, published in February 2019, show that no title posted an increase between July and December 2018, when compared with the same period in the previous year. Some saw a year on year change as much as -37%. [Source]

With these declining figures, how valuable are regional newspapers as an outlet for PR? I posed the question in last week’s #PowerAndInfluence Twitter chat.

Short answer… Yes, they are still valuable, depending on the audience that you’re trying to reach. If you’ve determined that the audience for your campaign or client reads a regional paper, why wouldn’t they still be valuable?

But, as some pointed out during the evening’s discussions, many publications are now focusing their efforts on online content, with less budget for journalists ‘out on the beat’ as there used to be.

And this online activity doesn’t always make easy reading with pop-ups, adverts and a plethora of content vying for your attention.

So, what can we do to support regional papers? The first point, quite simply and quite obviously, is to keep buying them.

But as PRs, we can make the journalist’s job easier by providing quality, relevant content. With fewer journalists covering each patch, their time is even more valuable than before.

By researching the right contact at the right publication and only sending news that may genuinely be of interest, we can help regional papers continue to be a valuable source of news for their communities.

And as Ellen Carroll so beautifully put…

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