Just a few days ago, word of The New York Daily News‘ massive 50% reduction to their entire staff shook the media industry. While any news of workforce reduction is saddening and alarming, losses in the media market strike a very particular chord. Print media publications are disappearing at a rapid pace and the pool of newsroom editorial staff seems to evaporate daily, presenting challenges for those looking to disseminate news and creating concerns about the shrinking voices of diverse media outlets.
The layoffs at The New York Daily News will undoubtedly impact coverage specific to the New York area and beyond. Tronc is the American media publishing company that owns and operates not only The New York Daily News but The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and more, and while additional reductions of this magnitude aren’t currently being discussed at these other publications, cuts are almost guaranteed. As the layoffs continue, a heightened awareness of how and where news is being delivered is necessary.
It isn’t all doom and gloom from a local coverage perspective, however. At Konnect Agency, we work with a variety of clients in industries including franchises, lifestyle brands, and food & beverage companies among others. While we maintain our relationships with former staff members at publications like NY Daily News and keep track of their future editorial endeavors, there are also strategies that our locally-focused clients can implement with our help to continue reaching their intended markets.
Beyond the newsroom, local outreach should include more strategic influencer and blog programs. Social media influencers and bloggers with strong local followings are often highly regarded by the people seeking out their advice, tips, tricks and buying guides in the area. By carefully selecting these partnerships, brands can remain top-of-mind among regional consumers.
Similarly, a key factor for garnering local coverage is careful consideration of the news cycle. When strategically planning outreach regarding store openings, product launches and press releases, it is incredibly important to keep track of events like major holidays, internationally broadcasted sporting events (e.g. The Olympics) and unpredictable occurrences like natural disasters that take up much of the local press’ attention. When possible, it is important to be able to adjust course and push announcement dates if necessary.
As cutbacks continue, outlets are going to be shorter staffed and ultimately will not have the bandwidth to cover a wide range of newsworthy topics. This means that as publicists, we have to remain aware of alternative forms of local media, such as influencers, and stay acutely tuned into what each media market is covering – taking note on what exactly is “newsworthy” based on the ever-developing news cycle. During this shift in the media landscape, we must remain flexible and open to out-of-the-box ideas that meet client needs and ultimately reach the public.