Friday, May 31, 2013
Changing Media Landscape: No More Photogs at Chicago Sun-Times, Plus Our Tips for Communicators
Another sign of the times for a changing media landscape, the Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday that they are letting go of the entire staff of photographers at the historic newspaper company.
Read some thoughts, and some sympathy, on our post about the announcement here.
What does this mean for media relations and communications professionals?
One evolving idea we’ve been discussing with Newswise members for some time; communications offices at universities, associations, and other organizations need to conceive of themselves more and more as an extension of the news outlets they wish to be covered in. Media relations professionals these days are successful when they act more like a freelance field office for the news industry, charged with covering their institution - not just issuing communiques and press releases on its behalf.
Building equity with the media, through smart packaging of their press releases to be more like ready-to-air news stories, goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
Now, with developments like the Chicago Sun-Times laying off their photogs, media relations professionals trying to get stories placed within that paper might have an edge if they provide graphics with their news releases. The Sun-Times isn’t going to just *stop* using photographs after the last photographer cleans out his camera bag - they’ll purchase them from other services, pay lower rates to reporters and freelancers to take pictures themselves, and use images provided by media relations professionals in their news releases.
That’s why Newswise provides a number of options for members to use visuals, graphics, photographs, and multimedia with their news releases. And we’ve tracked a success rate of more average pageviews for releases with visuals.
Staying ahead of these trends, responding to them, anticipating them, and evolving in this changing era for news and media, will be vital to the success of our members.