The Gannett Company joined the ranks of media companies that are dropping newspapers from their empires. Gannett, publisher of USA Today and dozens of local newspapers, just spun off its print holdings while retaining its higher-profit digital outlets. Another casualty of declining newspaper profits.
This is a loss for all of the towns that depended on Gannett papers for local coverage. It means that these papers will have smaller budgets and, likely, fewer reporters. Those reporters will have even less time to research and write in-depth stories and to develop expertise in specific beats. Many more stories will be online only.
For communications strategists, this means that every pitch needs to be carefully researched and perfectly targeted. Reporters don’t have the luxury of fact checking a release or skimming a pitch that doesn’t seem dead on at first glance. Keep pitches short and don’t waste reporters and editors valuable time.
We communications strategists, especially those of us who love writing, need to remember that in the digital environment a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Simply put, pictures are easier than words to appreciate online. As more and more Americans get their local, national and international news online, they are likely to learn more from infographics and videos than a well-crafted 1000 word article.