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For years, many have claimed that hardcopy press will die out completely due to the prevalence of the internet. People on both side of the debate have recently however been distracted by a new, yet comewhat connected, subject and are now discussing the merits, motivations and drawbacks to the latest change in the media business model – readers paying for online content.

This topic has had vehement supporters and critics, from all walks of life, but few people, even those within the industry, have commented on how the latest media changes will affect the way in which PR is conducted… until now!

Bob Dearsley, our Chairman, has written an article on how PR will have to change so as to accommodate the changes in online media, which has been published on, the online version of Centaur’s Marketing Week and NMA.

Click here to read the full article, and of course feel free to offer your comments below.

Some selected comment is below:

As paywalls guarding publications’ content become more widespread throughout national, regional and trade publications over the course of 2011 and into 2012, the quality of content that these publications provide will be placed under greater scrutiny by their readers, keen to see value for their money.

As such, many in the B2B PR industry must substantially up their game to ensure that materials provided to the media are consistently targeted, accurate, uniquely insightful and worthy of the readers’ fees.

Coverage will become far more hard-won as many ‘soft’ opportunities for coverage will rapidly die away, deemed unsuitable for a paying audience. Journalists will expect a higher quality of information so that they can satisfy a demanding public, becoming ruthless in deciding which materials are useful and which are to be discarded.

Therefore, the provision of thought leadership alongside and within quality news announcements will rapidly sort the PR wheat from the chaff. PR teams can make a real difference to client and journalist alike with the provision of timely, insightful comment on the industry and by responding to current trends or announcements, very often at short notice for journalists about to break news.

But this isn’t anything new for the PR industry. The traditional values of PR – appreciation of a publication’s audience, the needs of the journalist and the detailed briefing of the appropriate client – are all well-publicised and everyone professes to adhere to them religiously. The need to do so consistently however, will be crucial to PR success in a pay-to-read world.


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