Friday, August 18, 2006


I've finished travels to Pittsburgh, PA and the Roanoke area of Virginia. As usual, it was good to leave a desk behind and glimpse the country. What struck me this time was a visit to a house whose local newspaper is focused intensely on the surrounding area with barely a hint of national or international news. The default web site for the homeowners was The New York Times. It appears as if the local newspaper editors have given up on being providers of general news and moved to proprietary content, material they own and control. If so, they have joined a trend among newspapers outside of large cities.

What this means to publicists, however, is that their work will shift even more to localization or move online. We have always tailored press releases to locations, but the challenge will be more difficult if mainstream media demand local users. "Yes, I will write about your new machine, but I want to talk to someone nearby who has one." Frequently, there isn't someone nearby. If this is the case, "mainstream media" for publicists will become secondary. This has happened in areas like high tech, but imagine food publicity moving online and away from food pages.


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