What print’s transition to digital means for PR

Although an audit of U.S. newspapers shows readership is declining altogether, online news consumption is up. This shift suggests a few points for industry pros to note.

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For the world of PR, the figures released Wednesday by the Alliance for Audited Media means that our industry can still try to pitch news outlets with more of a focus on digital editions, but probably with the same limited success.

The pronounced move to digital news means the newspapers aren’t hamstrung by newsprint costs and will have more space to write the news. The problem remains, however, that newspaper staffs are shrinking, and that means fewer reporters covering news.

The Alliance for Audited Media reported that daily readership of U.S. newspapers altogether declined 0.7 percent in the six-month period from a year earlier, while Sunday editions, which draw the most advertising dollars, were down 1.4 percent.

The most promising news angle in the report is that more people are reading news online, which accounts for 19 percent of total circulation, compared with 14 percent the year before. The AAM’s daily circulation figures include people who read the paper on a range of devices.

The company also is being helped by relatively new reporting rules at the AAM that let publishers count subscribers multiple times if they read a paper on different devices.

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