3 min read

Navigating Publication Shutdowns: A PR Pro’s Guide to Evolving Strategies

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As PR professionals, we spend much of our day reading the news and looking for what’s trending. But what happens when “what’s trending” is the shutdown of the very publications we’re reading?

In the past month alone, we’ve seen publications like Vice Media announce it will stop publishing, laying off hundreds of employees, while others like BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Conde Nast also announced cuts to their workforces.

What does this mean for PR professionals and brands alike? Let’s break it down.


Standing Out From the Crowd

Fewer publications and staff members means it’s going to be harder to differentiate our clients from competitors also looking to get their stories in these publications. PR professionals need to collaborate with clients and find opportunities to show value to journalists more than ever.

  • Share proprietary data, research or metrics that help support, deny or reveal new trends not previously covered
  • Provide a unique or controversial stance on a trending topic to demonstrate thought leadership
  • Offer hard news – this could be monetary news (think IPO, funding, acquisition or merger) or a recently developed, first-of-its-kind offering, solution or product that’s directly solving a need for customers


Nurturing Reporter relationships

A tighter staff also means journalists are taking on more responsibility with less bandwidth. We need to think of ways to make reporters’ lives easier. The smoother and more seamless our reporter relationships, the better our chances of continued collaboration.

  • Offer to provide written, long-form commentary or bylines
  • Provide pre-drafted quotes so journalists can easily plug the expertise into their stories
  • Propose multiple sources and experts as well as relevant data they can refer back to when the time is right


Amplifying coverage

Once you do land that media hit, don’t rely on the coverage alone to reach client goals. PR teams need to maximize every hit and align with sales to drive increased ROI. Together, make sure your clients are doing the following:

  • Adding the piece to their company website and press page
  • Posting the piece across social channels
  • Sharing the piece with employees and sales teams, encouraging them to post on their personal social channels to increase reach across their networks
  • Including the coverage in company newsletters that are shared with customers and prospects
  • Linking back to the piece in relevant blog posts or long-form content

The decrease in journalists and publications also highlights the importance for organizations to leverage their owned content and amplify it on their website and across social. Revisit content strategy to ensure a variety of spokespeople are discussing topics relevant to prospects and customers on both the company blog and LinkedIn. Ensure content is being published at a regular cadence and check Google Analytics to determine which blogs are the most popular, helping guide content strategy.


We embrace the need to pivot every day when working with clients. The need to pivot in today’s changing media landscape is no different. It’s time to show the industry we’re resilient, adaptable and ready.

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