“In the era of pageview #journalism, the #PR pitch doesn’t end when the story is published” via @shelholtz

A very interesting article about how pageview journalism could change the PR pitch.

“In the bygone world of journalism, publishers measured success by total subscriptions and newsstand purchases. Readers might be as likely to read an article on an obscure topic—as long as the headline was enticing—as they were a story about something in which they were already interested. Today, every click on every article counts. Journalists are under intense pressure to produce content that will generate those clicks, increasing the challenge of getting a reporter to cover your company’s or client’s story.

“Pageview journalism,” as tech reporter Tom Foremski calls it, has resulted in some bad reporting. Being first to report can means hundreds of thousands of extra clicks, even for a paper that beats the competition by mere seconds…

There should be two components to the pitch in the era of pageview journalism. First, we have to sell the reporter or editor on the value of the story. Even if it’s not the big story any idiot knows will drive page views, we need to make a compelling case for why the story should be produced anyway. We need to hone our storytelling skills to demonstrate why this story is more than just another thinly-veiled press release.

Second, we need to outline the steps we’ll take once the story has been published to drive traffic to it. Some of the techniques to employ include…

    Having done your homework upfront, sharing keywords with the reporter he can build into his article that will drive traffic
    Referencing the article on the client’s corporate blog
    Having the client tweet the link and include it in an update on their Facebook page
    Promoting the link in communities whose members have an intrinsic interest in the subject
    Sharing the link in the agency’s channels
    Pointing the story out to influencers within that subject matter area
    On behalf of the client, buying keywords that lift the link above organic search results…

In the old days, we told clients the pitch worked because the article was published; the number of eyeballs we reported as a metric was based on subscription rates with no real means of determining who viewed the article. By working with reporters to drive views of the articles we’ve placed, we can provide better metrics and even correlate those views to more tangible, meaningful outcomes.

PR doesn’t have to lament the rise of pageview journalism. Enhancing the pitch to include efforts to drive traffic will produce better results than ever.

And, as Foremski suggests, reporters will be happy to take our calls.”

So PR and media people, do you think that PR practitioners should be creating strategies to increase stories’ page views as part of their initial pitch?

Read more at the Holtz Communications blog: In the era of pageview journalism, the pitch doesn’t end when the story is published | Content | Blog | Holtz Communications + Technology.


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