2014 has been yet another year of change for all of us working in media and PR. Content marketing has become the buzz term, although there are huge differences of opinion on what it actually is and who should be doing it. And many media continue to struggle for profitability leading to mergers, scrapping print editions and moving entirely online and in many cases followed by paywalls for the online content.

Fewer media - better stories?

For us PR professionals this leads to even fewer media to talk to, meaning stories have to be so much more relevant and interesting to even get considered for publishing. For big brands traditional launches and announcements are still possible. News is still news, but you would have to be a Google, Apple, Spotify or a local startup to be of interest. For most businesses the only way is to start by talking to the media, reading their articles, listening to the ongoing debates, and find clients' stories that fit the news agenda and to offer the stories exclusively to one media.

And it takes a lot of talking and pitching before being perceived by media as someone worth listening to. One PR campaign is not enough, 3 months is not enough. It will take at least 6 months before seeing any traction. It is a tricky and expensive region to do PR in and unfortunately there are no short cuts. But we can see some new interesting opportunities opening up as a result of the changing media landscape.

Quid pro quo is back

The wall between advertising and the news rooms in Nordic media houses have traditionally been pretty solid. Those offers of "we'll give you half a page of editorial content if you buy and ad space" have not been heard for decades. But with increasing financial struggle it's possible to get deals again. It's to do with which news stories gets picked for publication so very subtle but why not tap in for as long as the opportunity is there? You do need to know who is open for suggestions though...

Educating the media

Content marketing is the latest addition to the media mix and 2015 is destined to be a year when most advertising and PR agencies will sell content to companies' own channels. But it's not only agencies tapping in, we are already seeing journalists from large media houses producing content for company blogs and websites. They are professional and can keep the two apart but it is arguably so that as a journalist it's easier to write about things you know, and if you really get to know a business and it's products and services, and you have a professional relationship with them, isn't it easier to write about them as a journalist also in other non paid for channels? As a PR professional I can't help thinking isn't this exactly where we want to get the media? To educate the journalists so they know and understand a client's business and products?

The new PR professional

We can clearly see a need for more rounded PR professionals in the Nordics, people who can truly help companies not just raising awareness in the media, but build business relationships, find business partners, negotiate sponsorship deals and place speakers at events, push content and stories in social media and be opportunistic and use traditional PR as a glue between it all. People who knows how to speak business and money and when it's all about a news angle.

From all of us at JustPR

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2015!