Young people don’t read print newspapers anymore. Perhaps a sad statement, but nonetheless true. Traditional media no longer know how to appeal to younger generations as they’ve found a different new way to stay informed on a daily basis: they rely on social media. On these platforms, people like Sophia Smith Galer and Gully Burrows explain current events to their audience. These young journalists are followed by thousands of people.
What makes them special? They meet all the codes expected by younger generations. Posts are clear, colourful and the information is understandable by all. Better yet, it only takes a few seconds to understand the subject, get the main data and make it your own. In the UK, a recent study analysed how the general population stays informed.
45% of Brits between 25 and 34 years old don’t read newspapers. They prefer using their phones to browse websites or apps belonging to media outlets. That’s a very good thing! But if you take the age group below, that number drops to 28%. This group rely more on social media and search engines. They don’t seem to be particularly attached to one traditional media outlet over another.
In general, trust in the press is declining. This is also revealed by Reuters: 38% of the world’s population in 2021 no longer wants to open a newspaper for fear of reading only anxiety-provoking information. This group of people knowingly avoids getting information through this medium. In 2019, that number was 29%. This trend is particularly prevalent in Brazil (54% of respondents), Great Britain (46%) and the United States (42%). France sits somewhere in the middle at 36%.
These figures should be taken into account when conducting PR campaigns. While this data isn’t good news to all the actors in this sector, you can make the most of it and adapt to this new paradigm. What should you do when the people you want to reach no longer read newspapers? Where else can we turn to inform them and get our message across? You probably already know the answer.
Consider influencer marketing for your PR strategies
Neglecting newspapers isn’t a new trend in fact. For many years, PR companies have been aware of this and have been developing their offer. Indeed, it’s now partly dedicated to influencers. In addition to relying on journalists, press agents are turning to influencers. Their work is of course very different, but their impact is increasingly large. Things moves quickly on social media and sending the right product to the right person with an interested community is often enough.
It can also be about sharing values and information. There are many examples of this in the charity sector where campaigns, like those of the RSPCA for example, are relayed to influencers. Both Charlotte Hawkins and Michelle Elman have participated in such an initiative – that way they can inform their followers. These same press releases are also sent to journalists.
However, it is important to be remember that carrying out a press relations campaign with journalists and influencers does not require the same work: Journalists play an informative role. They rework, analyse and share information in a factual manner. For example, press agents may offer an interview with a specialist on the subject to get another perspective. With this type of strategy, PR campaigns’ primary goal is to inform the public while the secondary goal is to help increase the company’s awareness and SEO.
The type of information shared with content creators needs to be different. Information is much less important, because here, press agents are targeting the advertising aspect of the campaign. Web personalities are asked to talk about the product and/or service to their followers in order to increase awareness and sales. But to appeal to these creators, you often need to come up with innovative concepts.
To learn more, feel free to check out our article “Why Both PR Agencies AND Influencer Marketing Agencies Are Valuable Tools”.
Examples of PR strategies with influencers
Sending a press release announcing the launch of a new product will often not be enough to grab the attention of influencers. It’s important to send them the product, but even that does not guarantee they will show it in their stories, given the number of free products some of them receive per day.
For this reason, press agents are coming up with much more innovative ways to engage influencers. Recently, for the release of their newest blusher, Benefit invited several influencers on a PR trip to Hawaii. Over several days, they enjoyed activities and got a preview of this new product. A few weeks ago, several content creators travelled to Corsica with Stradivarius to discover their new line.
Influencer press relations must look like an experience. The goal is to share the influencer’s experience on social media so it is seen by as many people as possible.
Do you also want to launch a PR campaign with influencer marketing? Contact us here!