Advertorial’s new phase a gloomy portent for newspapers’ credibility

Who gains when the wall between ads and content crumbles to dust?

Who gains when the wall between ads and content crumbles to dust?

Several weeks ago I received a presentation from a major Canadian newspaper publisher titled, New Approach to Media Relations for PR Consultants. The presenter outlined a new process available for PR folks pitching their clients’ work.

Though I couldn’t attend, I obtained a copy of the deck and got a thorough debriefing from the people who were in the room. I’m glad I did, as what I learned horrified me.

I waited for a while before writing this post, as I let the implications of what I learned sink in and decide whether I was overreacting. I found myself back where I started, though—in a state of something approaching despair about the state of the mainstream media and what it means for public relations as we know it.

The bottom line: The newspaper publisher was pitching us the promise of editorial coverage paired with advertising.

Quoting the presentation: “We can help your clients marry their PR message with their Advertising message to strengthen their brand.”

The old media-relations process

You can simplify the process to three steps (this is dramatically oversimplified, but it covers the basics):

The emerging process

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