There’s no question that the practice of public relations has changed dramatically in the past decade as the media landscape and means of communication have shifted.
A recent Advertising Age article
does an excellent job of explaining how it’s changed through a couple of mini case studies.
’s Alexandra Bruell explains:
“Today, PR pros are drooling over the journalist or news organization with the most followers on Twitter. In some cases, where a journalist's followers are so substantial they can make or break a story, that might mean reaching out to the individual before giving their media brand a thought.”
What this says to me is that the journalist has more of an opportunity than ever to become more influential than the outlet he or she works for. This isn’t necessarily a new concept (Roger Ebert comes to mind, as do several syndicated columnists who came and went over the years). But it may be more ubiquitous in the Digital Age.
When you’re pitching a story, do you take into account the journalist’s media savvy?
Think of journalists’ Twitter followers as niche audiences. Even if the journalist works for a small news organization, if they have a hearty, loyal, engaged audience of Twitter followers, that can be more influential than placement within a larger news organization where the story gets buried.
But as Bruell’s article points out, measuring this success is difficult, and only anecdotal evidence exists at this point.