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PR and the new media landscape

Figures provided by the US department of labour show that there are now 4.6 PROs to every one journalist and it looks as though this ratio is soon to be the case in the UK as well. The latest PRCA Census shows there are now over 62,000 PR professionals in the UK, but the number of journalists has fallen 9% to around 64,000.  If both industries continue to build/decline in this way, PROs look set to outnumber journalists in the not-so-distant future.

This means that agencies and in-house PR teams will have to start thinking more carefully about a clear strategy to ensure that they are at the top of their game and contribute to secure outstanding coverage. Below are my top tips on how PROs can shape up and deliver a targeted PR strategy.

Why? How? What?

By using management guru Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, which highlights the importance of asking ‘why?’ as well as ‘how?’ and ‘what?’, you can start thinking about your ‘why?’. In today’s saturated market, it’s not good enough to simply think about how or what your client does best, there also needs to be a why? Once you understand why your client does what they do and why it’s better/different/more impactful than its competitors, you can start building a communications plan that goes across all PR activity.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Story-telling has never been more important for your client and should run though everything you do. When you think about the most impactful PR or advertising campaigns you’ve seen, story-telling will be at the heart of it, showing the power of a clear story Once you’ve found your why, you can think about the power of your brand and how best to communicate that. By making your ‘story’ stand out, you are already streets ahead when it comes to securing all-important coverage. 

Creating bespoke packages

With the number of journalists falling, the ones that are still flying the flag are having to work harder and faster. If PROs can deliver a bespoke package of tailored content for each audience including example case studies, quotes from key spokespeople and facts and figures, this ensures that the journalist is receiving relevant copy, which is ready for print.

By finding your ‘why?’ and following an aligned PR strategy, this enables you to deliver the best for your clients whilst keeping journalists equally as happy. 

Key stats

  • The UK PR industry is worth £9.62 billion – over £2 billion more than previous figures in 2011 – Source PRCA
  • According to research by the US department of labour there are now 4.6 PROs to every one journalist
  • Research from the PRCA has shown there are now over 62,000 UK PR professionals
  • All major newspaper websites continued to grow, except Mail Online which was down slightly by 2.2% – so PROs need to think about how best to reach an online audience – Guardian source
  • Over 90% of industry specialists report that the importance of digital and online communication tasks has grown over the last two years, according to the PRCA

Average daily browsers of UK newspapers and print circulation figures

Average daily browsers
MailOnline 14,383,578 (-2.55%) 8,872,392 (1.23%)
Telegraph 4,328,890 (-6.13%)
Mirror Group Nationals 4,195,021 (-13.01%)
The Independent 2,921,273 (-12.31%)
The Sun 2,046,792 (7.16%)
Metro 1,188,978 (-16.16%) 1,176,494 (-15.94%) 685,769 (-23.92%)
Evening Standard 479,367 (-4.53%)

Print circulation
The Sun 1,741,838 (-2.53%)
Daily Mail 1,562,361 (-1.71%)
Metro 1,347,505 (-0.04%)
Evening Standard 902,005 (0.4%)
Daily Mirror 791,839 (-2.14%)
The Daily Telegraph 472,936 (0.19%)
Daily Star 472,869 (0.53%)
Daily Express 413,140 (1.09%)
The Times 402,752 (-0.35%)
i 269,628 (-0.82%)
Financial Times 195,515 (-1.37%)
Daily Record 174,525 (-1.34%)
The Guardian 161,152 (-1.83%)
The Independent 54,187 (-1.82%)


Written by Heidi Myers, EMEA director of marketing, at media intelligence specialist Meltwater

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