The Wilbert Group Blog

Economics of News Make Sharing Achievements Tougher



As I write, The Wilbert Group has four team members at the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) annual conference in Denver. It’s an opportunity for the journalists who cover real estate for a living to discuss their business, while also hearing from real estate industry experts talking about trends and outlooks.

NAREE journalists can add some expert sources to their contacts list and pick up some story ideas.

A journalism trend in progress for more than a decade is that the number of print journalists covering real estate and nearly every other topic is way down. The U.S. newspaper industry has shed about 60 percent of its newsroom jobs since 1990, a trend so unrelenting, the American Society of Newspaper Editors decided to stop tracking it last year.

Why is this important to the business community? News outlets supply information about trends in the marketplace, what competitors are up to, new government regulations, or the repeal of old ones. Fewer journalists reporting less news makes it more difficult for business people to stay as informed as they need to be.

The decline in the number of journalists covering business also makes it more challenging for companies to share information they want to get out to the public. Convincing busy reporters that your latest innovation, new deal or great hire is newsworthy wasn’t easy before. But, you can bet it’s about 60 percent tougher now.

A reporter at a metro newspaper earlier this year told me his publication stopped running items about promotions and new hires because of a lack of staff to compile that news. That’s why having skilled public relations advisers is more important than ever.

At The Wilbert Group, we spend a great deal of time reading about our clients’ industries. We routinely pass along items of interest we find. We pay attention to which journalists are writing about topics our clients are experts on and work to connect them. When our clients have news to share, we know which news outlets, and which journalists, will be interested, greatly increasing the chances of successfully getting that news out.

Sharing your company’s news in an environment when many fewer people are gathering and distributing that news is difficult, but PR pros have the expertise to help make sure it still gets done.