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NOTE – this piece is cross posted from the FAIT ICI blog, where it was originally published.


Chris Anderson, the man behind Wired and ‘The Long Tail’, really likes declaring things ‘dead’. Awhile back he said print media was dead. Then he said the internet was dead.

Anderson’s very good at making erroneous statements that garner lots of attention and sell magazines.

We don’t live under a rock. We know print and newspapers are experiencing troubles and that Anderson’s arguments have merit on some level. FAIT ICI also loves digital media. We drank the Kool Aid awhile back and we still believe it is VERY powerful for small business.

But if you’re doing PR  for a smaller shop you have to integrate/combine new and old media outreach. One feeds the other and old media – especially the print segment Anderson deemed dead awhile ago – is STILL very powerful.

Part of this is about reach.

It’s great getting covered on a blog that receives 10 000 to 20 000 visits per month from people who are part of a specific tribe. Only a fool would not view this as a PR win. However, certain old media get you in front of over 100 000 people in a day. Do most of them see you/notice you/care about you? Probably not. But the difference of scale is astounding and can produce positive effects.

An anecdote helps illustrate the point. A piece on our shop ran in the Gazette’s Retail Detail column last Saturday . The tone was positive and it ran on a full page (big thanks to Vanessa). 

Here are four things we’ve seen since then:

  1. We had good sales the day the article was published and the following day.
  2. On those days our clientele was  more demographically varied than usual. Patrons were older and, unscientifically, I would say that more were from places outside the Sud Ouest.
  3. A bunch of people who pass by our store regularly but had never been in read the piece and then stopped by. In other words, the fact that we were in the Gaz, legitimized us to them on some level. This, as a PR pro by day, is very interesting! I’ve had conversations about this with our friend Julien – and it is quite neat to see that ‘old’ media has this power, and the tendency to create ‘buzz’ in new media spaces. This speaks to the inseparability of old and new media in any PR strategy. 
  4. Another large media outlet –  CTV television – called us about setting up a story based entirely on the article. Again here, we see that reach matters.

So dear friends….print may not be that dead after all. Whether it is or not, YOU, the small biz person, need to make sure part of your PR program pays attention to this media segment.

There’s no doubt the new digital tools are POWERFUL, but they are not a ‘replacement’ for what has been before (and continues to be)!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Krista says:

    Great work garnering both coverage and traction to keep the story moving! As a student of print journalism, I’m glad to see the press (as in the literal term) remains a relevant source of information. For new and traditional media outreach, it’s a matter of finding the right combination that best fits for your business or client. Often, the two sources feed each other, as you saw now broadcast picked up on the print piece for additional coverage.

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