The Descent of Public Relations Alongside Journalism
For the past ten years, journalism has been steadily declining; in 2015 the American Society of News Editors annual census release reported a loss of 3,800 journalism jobs in just one year. In this New Media Age, less of our news comes from journalists and more of it is coming from public relations. According to Robert McChesney’s “The Death and Life of American Journalism,” as the numbers of journalists decline, the number of public relations people seem to multiple at a much faster rate. Despite this, however, the decline of journalism actually has a correlating effect on public relations.
Public relations professionals rely on journalists to pitch their stories and get coverage; it’s symbiotic relationship. These days, however, according to a study done by the American Press Institute, 69 percent of Americans get their news from online sources. Most of these sources do not want to hire someone to research and write a story, no matter how interesting the subject. They want to post an already crafted piece and not pay a dime for it. Or, have the source pay to have their piece seen on their site. So how does that affect PR?
Advertising revenues continue to steadily decline since 2006. Banner and pop-up ads are incapable of generating enough income to keep media sources afloat. Many media sources are thus turning to Native Advertising. Even publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are using Native Advertising. If businesses can simply pay a source to place an ad directly, can it start to push out the need for PR?
More and more small businesses now have to find ways to promote themselves. Having a company blog these days is essential for promotion. Companies are turning to SEO to generate traffic to their sites. Much the way PR professionals build relationships with journalists, in the modern day they must build such relationship with SEO. Together they can help raise brand awareness as well as inspire people to share the info on various platforms across the Internet. Current day SEO and PR share the same goal of creating attention, awareness, and trust.
Interest in PR
Research conducted by SEO experts indicates that the general public’s interest in public relations has been steadily declining along with the interest in magazines and newspapers.