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October 15th, 2008

Being an Ink Junkie

An open letter to clients Re: online media:

As a PR professional, there is no greater satisfaction than having a client pick up a newspaper or magazine and flip to the page with their interview. Unfortunately, the great unwashed, who aren’t typically profiled in their local “Business” section, aren’t flipping those pages very much lately and most people are getting their breaking news, daily headlines and entertainment online.

While Web-based media may be the most widely read (often with audiences larger than their antiquated brethren several times over), a lot of clients still think ink is king and online is the bastard, red-headed stepchild. Only problem is, because everyone is migrating to the Internet, print media – particularly newspapers – are going the way of the dodo as advertisers flock to where they can get the most eyeballs.

So I put it to you, keepers of marketing budgets and executive attention hounds of the world: put your money where your mouth is! You want to be on the cover of the New York Times? You’d better start buying some ads or the Gray Lady is going to shut herself in with a dozen cats and wait for the next Meals-on-Wheels delivery.

(*Disclaimer—this is in no way meant to imply that buying newspaper ads will translate into editorial coverage.)

Embrace the Interweb! Online coverage stays in the public domain much longer (maybe too long, right United Airlines?), and it doesn’t leave stains on your fingers (carpal tunnel notwithstanding…).

A P.S. to online media, particularly blogs:

We’re on your side! We understand your value and your impact! In fact, we just spent 10 minutes on a conference call with a client dragging them kicking-and-screaming into the 21st century and explaining to them the wide-reaching immediacy of blog coverage.

So please, let us pitch you. We know you like to “discover” things on your own, and we won’t tell anyone where you got your information, so let us get you access to our clients.

That being said, after we’ve sold our clients on the wide-reaching immediacy of blog coverage, please don’t sit on an interview for a month. We know blog posts follow a news cycle, and there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven (turn, turn, turn), but you’re supposed to be the standard bearer in this 24/7 information-addicted world in which we’re living, so give us our fix. We know you’re holding!

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