B2B Public Relations Pros, Take Heart: There is Positive Media News

Good news about print publications – or most traditional news outlets for that matter – is a rarity. So, I did a double-take when I saw this the other week:

Scientific, technical, medical, legal and business journals posted revenue growth of 3% in 2010, after a decline in 2009, according to a report from Simba Information.

Does that mean it’s the same ol’, same ol’ at these B2B media outlets today? In most cases, things have changed. Print needs an online companion to survive and B2B media editors are spending more time on digital initiatives. More than 90% of editorial teams are “actively engaged” in building content for their brand’s website and an equal percentage report the website is increasing revenue, according to an American Business Media report. The majority use the website for breaking news.

Here’s what hasn’t changed: the need to reach niche audiences. For B2B public relations professionals, that means there’s no need to jump ship on the strategic media initiatives and relationships that have worked in the past. Insurance executives still rely on long-time print publications like Best’s Review for critical industry news. And one of my clients who regularly consults to the board of directors at hospitals recently mentioned that, without question, the publication that has the most impact for his practice is Trustee magazine. There are clients and prospects that still reference his byline articles from a year ago.

However, that’s not to say media strategies don’t need a refresh. New approaches and tactics absolutely must be considered to keep up with changing preferences. I recently heard Amy Mitchell, Deputy Director for Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, talk at a PRSA St. Louis luncheon. She discussed the “need for speed” with news today – both in terms of publications having less capacity to do in-depth stories and in the way people digest news (most use 4 to 6 platforms and spend less time on news sites than a year ago).

At the end of the day, a good PR strategy puts companies in front of the audiences they want to talk with – wherever they might be. It’s up to PR professionals to stay at the forefront of how and where those audiences are taking in information, and push executives to experiment with relevant content and methods (e.g., LinkedIn groups, blogging) with which to connect. B2B audiences are still reading their favored niche news sources – but the way they do it is changing and it’s providing new opportunities for B2B marketers who think creatively.

What are you doing to refresh your B2B media strategy in 2011?

Photo by allaboutgeorge


To reach Kellie:

Email: kellie@blisspr.com
Twitter: @kshe
LinkedIn: Kellie Sheehan