PR pros are finding fewer media contacts to target, and the few contacts who remain are overburdened and in a gloomy mood. Don’t let this hurt your job performance
Taken a hard look at your media lists lately? It might be time to see which of your contacts still has a job.
The depressing pace of media layoffs—from regional newspaper chains to CBS News—shows little sign of slowing down.
“I had a big meeting set up with a personal finance newspaper reporter,” recalls John Sternal, VP of marketing communications at LeaseTrader.com, which helps consumers trade car leases. “The day before the meeting, I got a message on my BlackBerry, saying there were big layoffs coming up the next day and the meeting was off.” (Sternal’s contact survived that purge but left the paper and is now an industry analyst.)
According to Sternal, journalists are no less receptive to PR pitches, but with juggling multiple beats, and blogging and podcasting responsibilities, they simply can’t consider many of the pitches that come their way.
“There’s never been a time that I can remember when so many reporters say, ‘I really want to cover that story, but I just can’t do it,’” says Sternal.