How PRs will need to adapt to the Fairfax and News Limited upheavals

In this guest post, Tina Alldis argues that the restructure of Fairfax and News Limited is good news for PR agencies with redundant journos on the job market and a single well placed story likely to go across multiple platforms.

Aside from the inevitable decrease in the numbers of journalists that we harass daily with our brand stories and announcements, what do all of these changes mean for PR practitioners and clients?

I believe these evolutions will result in improved PR campaigns, with stories running across multiple platforms and extending out into social media. Great news for our clients.

Now that we are faced with this increasingly competitive editorial space in print media, and the need for components of campaigns which lend themselves to online content that is genuinely sharable, it is time to ensure all our campaigns are truly born out of socially creative insights.

Socially creative campaigns will mean our stories will lend themselves to both online content and newsworthy print stories. This will help our media friends hit as many birds as possible with one stone, with genuinely sharable content. Sharable stories mean we’ll be helping media outlets to drive viewership of certain articles as we post links on our social media channels – an outcome that makes both media and clients happy.

We also need to be conscious of ensuring that our campaigns and stories can be easily adapted for other media types including iPad, tablet and smartphone content. In particular, the work of News Limited’s product innovation team will dictate at what pace PRs need to adapt to new mediums.

This shift towards content which appeals to traditional media, digital and social media channels does mean as an industry we will have to establish a standardised measurement tool for online and social media coverage, allowing our clients to fully understand the value of what we achieve for brands as the media landscape evolves.

As we start to see the full effect of these restructures and the reduced number of journalists, I believe media will become increasingly reliant on newswire services to provide content. In turn, this will mean there is less space for PR-created stories which will increase the perceived value of print coverage, both by industry and clients.

Less journos will also mean that publications will be looking for content they can syndicate across the networks. Knowing this we must ensure our stories either carry national interest or can easily be adapted for each metro and regional market as needed.

And with a significant number of Fairfax Media and News Limited employees likely to be on the hunt for new roles, it would be remiss not to expect that there will be an increasing number of former journos joining the ‘dark-side’ of publicity.

All in all, it’s an exciting time to be in PR.

I’m interested to see how many PRs are up for the challenge of evolving the way we work while journos enter the industry and challenge us for our roles.

  • Tina Alldis is head of publicity at PR agency Mango Sydney

7.30pm update: Mango MD Simone Drewry has issued the following statement:

“I would like to apologise on behalf of the Mango team for this opinion piece. While I encourage my team to have opinions and be active in the industry and media landscape, this piece is insensitive. We hold journalists in high esteem and apologise for the offence caused.

“Tina Alldis is a consummate professional who always acts with integrity – on this occasion she made a bad judgement call and she understands that.

“We have friends and peers who are impacted by the recent changes at News Ltd and Fairfax and we do not want to profit from the distress caused to them and their families. I hope that we can move on from this and build bridges with anyone who we have upset.”

7.40pm update: Tina Alldis adds:

“I would like to apologise in person to anyone who has been offended by this article. I can be reached on tinaa@thisismango.com.au. If you send me your number I will call you back.”


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