state of the media: 2019 media trends for publicists

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you probably already know that the media has changed a lot in the last 20 years, but what does that mean for a business trying to get some PR in 2019?

when the internet and free content became mainstream, the traditional business model of selling newspapers and magazines was completely undermined. now, publishers are having to come up with new ways to bring in revenue, and publicists are having to learn new ways to get exposure for their clients.

but don’t worry. even though the media is going through a lot of changes, many of them have opened up more opportunities that are good for the PR side of things.

let’s go over some of the biggest changes i’ve noticed in 2019.

1. publications are consolidating writers

a magazine used to employ many writers, each covering their own beat. so, as a publicist, i would pitch the relevant writer at each magazine.

it is totally different today.

now, a publisher may have just one writer working on that beat for several different magazines.

because the writers have been consolidated, i can pitch one writer and get placements in several different magazines.

for example, the media company hearst owns cosmopolitan, marie claire, o, the oprah magazine, redbook and more. if i have a client that sells makeup, i can send a pitch to the one makeup writer, who will ultimately consider the brand for stories in all of those magazines.

2. there are more types of placements

media companies used to focus on writing content for their printed publications, then the internet came along and the demand for content spiraled out of control! in addition to print content and similar digital content, there’s email newsletters, facebook, twitter, youtube, snapchat, and—everyone’s favorite—instagram.

and those are just the big ones!

the point here is that publishers need content for all of their channels which means i can pitch a client for all kinds of creative publicity.

have you ever heard of an instagram takeover? that’s an example of what i’m talking about.

other ideas include inviting a journalist to your place of business for a behind the scenes tour or special class to put on their youtube channel or creating facebook graphics that are super shareable.

check out your favorite publications, see what channels they are publishing on, and don’t be afraid to pitch them a collaborative idea.

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3. brands are publications too

content marketing is huge and it’s turning every brand into a publisher.

most brands today will have blogs, newsletters, and social media just like the journalistic publishers. some of the high-end brands even have their own magazines. and there’s even a trend of brands hiring journalists to run their content programs.

five years ago, most of this content was self-promoting. the problem is that brands that only publish content about their own products lose the interest of their readers.

now, content marketers have figured out that by acting more like a traditional media company and publishing all kinds of helpful content, they can build a bigger audience and ultimately reach more people.

this has opened up a lot of brands to accept guest posts, collaborate on content, and mention complementary brands as well. use this to your advantage and pitch the content writers at your favorite brands too.

4. publications want you to sell on amazon

this is a trend i don’t like very much: more publications are requiring brands to sell on amazon.

if you’re not familiar, amazon has a massive affiliate program. so, if you sell a product on amazon, the publisher can get a special link to your product page. then when the publisher links to your product and someone clicks on it, amazon will give them a commission of that sale.

simply put: publishers want to make money off of the products you sell.

it doesn’t cost you anything extra, per se, but if you don’t want to sell on amazon, a lot of publishers will flat out not be interested in talking about your brand.


but i can’t blame publishers either. remember how this blog post started out? revenue streams are drying up for media companies and they are struggling to make it work. i expect that we will see even more changes in the next five years than we did in the last as media companies look for more innovative ways to keep publishing great content.