How will Newsroom Layoffs Impact PR?

Stories about newsroom layoffs used to be relegated to trade publications, but these journalism job cuts are now becoming part of the news. If you thought it was hard to place a story with the media before – suit up: it’s going to get even harder.

This new economic landscape is going to require different skills to navigate shrinking newsrooms. Many of the producers and writers you might have relied on in the past might be gone. It’s one of the reasons why I always say media contacts are not a strategy; they are an assist. Journalists know their editorial acumen is under the microscope and all ideas will be scrutinized more in that morning news meeting. No one wants to pitch a story that is half-baked or not ready for coverage.

So how can you adapt to the changing media landscape?

Ensure your story package is complete. Don’t add unnecessary resources or time to a reporter’s job. Make it easy on them. Get that character lined up before you pitch and don’t force the reporter to think about how to frame the story. You might not get additional time for follow-up questions if the reporter is juggling 5 stories at once. The bar to coverage will be lifted and niche stories will be the first to get rejected.

Media Coverage Will Shift Towards Harder News in 2024

I’m also predicting the media will take a shift towards hard news in 2024. With upcoming elections at both the local and national levels, newsrooms will want to run more timely and hard-hitting angles that don’t give any hint of opinion. Soft news stories are the first to get rejected when resources are tight. If your client doesn’t have a hard news angle, look deeper and ask more questions.

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