But, then if you've attended a "meet the media" panel at a WMPRSA event, you probably have heard a local editor complain about not getting PR information early enough to be out there at the same time as their competition. In some cases, this implies a day-early heads up so said news organization can print before broadcasters air the story.
Why, I want to ask, should the competitive interests of the local media be any part of our PR considerations? I mean, if it's about news and your news cycle takes day versus 10 minutes to get word out, so be it. Should arsonists give a heads up so crime reporters get good fire photos?
Well, for one, you have to maintain those media relationships. Editors have long memories, news can be subjective, and you may not get coverage or good treatment if you damage those relationships.
But, local dailies have it wrong if they think the timing of stories is a competitive issue. Newspapers can and should deliver depth. Studies have shown that most news consumers are alerted to the basics of a story by broadcast news and go to the papers for depth.
Beyond that, newspapers need to understand competition circa 2008:
Maybe they ought to think about the realities of competition instead of complain. They could adapt to new media, do additional reporting, engage the public in dialogue, adopt a different treatment, or something to add value to their own content. There is room for good journalism and good business to coexist. We in PR should hope the best for them. But increasingly, we have multiple avenues to reach our publics, and they have more ways of reaching us as well. Every once in a while, that might involve a newspaper.