Social Media Brings Death of Print Media?…I don’t think so…

John Diaz, business editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, recently spoke with a group of PR professionals, including me. While most experts are a bit gloomy about the future of print publications as they fight it out with more nimble Internet publications, John is optimistic about the future of newspapers. He did admit, much evidence indicates the decline of the “world as we knew it”.  John quoted stats indicating a 2.6 percent decline in newspaper circulation industry wide in just the past six months. Advertising is falling and now may be purchased on the once sacred front page. The San Franciso Chronicle itself is preparing to layoff 100 workers.   

Opinion pagers are at the biggest risk of getting the axe as the advent of blogs and online instant media offers no shortage of opinion and the conversation is no longer just one way, but two-way with readers demanding to talk back. 

There is however room for optimism for print media as they retain some important advantages over online: 

  • Investigative reporting

  • Getting out of the basement and actually talking to people

  • Discipline of content

  • Credibility

  • Trusted source

The newspaper’s role is changing as readers want to talk back – demanding dialog.  Online readers require quick response, no longer satisfied reading the newspaper’s response in tomorrow’s edition. John thinks newspapers will successfully navigate revolutionary changes and will survive as a “trusted source.” 

John’s paper has adapted to using blogs and other online resources for story ideas and sources and public feedback.

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.


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