Posts Tagged ‘The Huffington Post’

Print Is Dead, Print Isn’t Dead: The “Chinatown” Scenario of a Shifting Media Model

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Print Is Dead, Print Isn’t Dead: The “Chinatown” Scenario of a Shifting Media Model  Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasIf you happened to be searching for information on the state of print media, you’d encounter a classic Chinatown (spoiler alert) contradiction: Print is dying, it’s not dying, it’s dying, it’s not dying, it’s dying and it’s not dying!

Every morning, BurrellesLuce creates and distributes a daily briefing culling articles about the industry, and nearly every day there is an article extolling print’s comeback, and the next day, one about its continued decline. Time Inc. is laying off workers, but The Washington Post is expanding. Newspaper The Los Angeles Register will debut in print, but do print magazines have a future? Fashion magazines are posting growth in ad pages, but ad dollars are getting stretched thin by all the new website offshoots.

Newspaper publishers are losing money, CNN laid off 40 senior journalists, and many newspapers are now going without photojournalists and instead relying on citizens with smartphones. And yet, California newspapers will be carrying a new Sunday print magazine, and Net-a-Porter just launched its own print magazine. Sales of hardcover books were up last year, while sales of ebooks were down.

With print’s evolution of both expansion and contraction, perhaps the death proclamations are due not to the actual dying of traditional print media, but due instead to the fact that we call it “traditional” and “print.” In using the “traditional” label, we condemn print to a stuffy, rigid, outdated image when that emerging print publications are being integrated into online publications’ business models.

In talking about “print” and its death, perhaps what we’re referring to is not wholly the paper medium itself, but edited, high-quality journalistic content. It’s not a dead art form, but it is being overshadowed – and dominated – by online media powerhouses that have ushered in a new era of image-heavy, conversational, meme-focused free digital content.

This isn’t to say that modern online journalism is lesser than the content that preceded it, as many exclusively online sites provide insightful reporting alongside fun, sharable content. But the nature of crowd-sourced content creation, varying editorial standards, and prevalence of misinformation make online content as a whole a much more volatile medium.

It’s not just the “traditional” “print” media that’s suffering; publications are trying new strategies like native advertising, hiring more reporters and focusing on hyper-local news, and even those dynamic online outlets are scrambling to get by –  The Huffington Post has yet to post a profit and may even enact a paywall, and now digital magazine Slate will introduce a paid membership plan.

So perhaps what we’re talking about is more than a Chinatown scenario: it’s a shift in writing and reporting styles that’s tough to define, and a desire for free content that makes it tough for any online or paper medium to get by.

What’s your take on this shifting media model?

Four Key Findings from the 2014 Top Media Outlets List

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
by flickr user Sean MacEntee under CC BY license

by flickr user Sean MacEntee under CC BY license

What’s the most circulated newspaper? What are the most visited blogs and social media sites? Every year, BurrellesLuce publishes its Top Media Outlets list to show the leading traditional and social media outlets in the U.S. according to circulation, visits, authority, market share, or DMA. Below are the four most notable things we learned from the latest Top Media Outlets list, which was published last week.

Want a copy? It’s free –  download it here.

USA Today takes the top newspaper spot

USA Today displaced The Wall Street Journal as the daily paper with the highest circulation. USA Today made a huge leap, gaining over 1 million subscriptions since our last Top Media Outlets List in June 2013. That large spike may be attributed to the paper’s digital editions, which were not reported last year. However, those digital editions are free of charge, and USA Today reported lower circulation revenue in the third quarter due to hotels moving from paper subscriptions to digital ones.

Blogs are gaining ground – especially BuzzFeed

Though The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed retained their number one and two slots respectively, Buzzfeed narrowed the gap significantly; in November 2013, BuzzFeed had its biggest month ever with 130 million unique visitors, which they attribute in part to Facebook’s algorithm change. Interestingly, every single top blog increased in Technorati Authority, so while marketers may bemoan that the algorithm changes hide their organization’s page updates, the bright side may be that it’s driving more traffic to content.

Google Plus is rising, but it’s still behind

Google Plus had a big year, and it jumped from number seven to number four on this latest Top Media Outlets list, displacing Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Answers. That’s a big step for a social network still described as a ghost town. But it’s still below Twitter, and virtually light years away from Facebook and YouTube, social networks numbers one and two respectively. And while some researchers are predicting Facebook’s demise, it still posted an increase in visits share.

Instagram made it to the list

The most notable addition to the top social networks list is that of Instagram, which didn’t make it into the top ten on our last list. The photo-based social media site is not only popular with dedicated selfie takers, but it’s also becoming more of a marketing tool, so it might be time for brands and marketers to consider optimizing and leveraging Instagram.

Click here to download the 2014 Top Media Outlets list.

WWPR Media Round Table: Digital Media Experts Dish on Working with PR

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Understand who you are pitching and the beat or beats the cover. Like past panels, this year’s Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) Media Roundtable wanted to get across that message. The panel exchanged best practices and ways to gain better understanding of both positions from the perspective of those pitching and those being pitched.

The panel moderated by WWPR president Tina Beaty included: Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter and politics managing editor, The Huffington Post, Melissa Romero, staff writer for the Washingtonian, as well as health and wellness writer for the Washingtonian’s blog Well+Being, Molly Walker, editor, for trade publication FierceMarkets’ Enterprise IT group, writing regularly for FierceMobileGovernment, FierceGovernmentIT and FierceContentManagement, Amy Harder, energy and environment correspondent, National Journal.

Social media plays a large role in promoting stories, says Terkel. She says to think about how a headline will look in 140 characters. The panel was not in favor of social media pitches, though. They were open to sharing information via Twitter if a relationship has already been established. Romero commented on using Twitter direct message to share email addresses, when the PR person does not have her address.

Media Relations Tips from the WWPR Roundtable Panel

  • Email is still the best way to contact them, but don’t have an intern follow-up with a call 40 minutes later. A phone call may be appropriate if the pitch is time-sensitive.
  • Don’t be afraid to help them put the links together for a story and suggest other people to interview or places to gather more information.
  • Speed is important, so have a good subject line.
  • Do not let multiple members of the team pitch the same story to them. Only one pitch is needed.
  • If using a mail merge program to blast email press releases or pitches, check them first. It is annoying to see their name in all caps, spelled wrong or missing and inserted with an outlet name.
  • Exclusives are still important and will help you win the pitch.
  • Press conferences are useful for sharing thought leadership, Walker says. Terkel suggested outlining why she should attend in a pitch email.
  • Don’t shy away from pitching a small blog to get an exclusive review and then use that post for pitching a larger media outlet.

The panel turned to discussing the future of print media. All panelists agreed they do not want to see print go away, but added they all work on the digital side. They feel being able link to other stories and information adds credibility to their work. Digital media makes it easy to add information or make corrections to a story.

I’ve previously posted media relations tips from the Washington, DC assignment editors on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. You can check it out here. What other tips would you add? How are you working with digital media journalists?

The New York Women in Communications 2011 Matrix Awards

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Lauren Shapiro*

betty white 2The New York Women in Communications (NYWIC) organization held their annual Matrix Awards at the Waldorf Astoria on Monday, April 11th. I attended the event, which celebrates the achievements of extraordinary women in the communications industry, with my mentor from NYWIC, Sonia Hayes-McNaughton of Goldman Sachs.

The three tiered room decorated in spring colors and flowers held some of the communication industry’s most hard working and well known women of our time.

This year’s honorees included:
Cindi Berger, chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC Public Relations
Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor, Washington Week and senior correspondent The PBS NewsHour
Robin Koval, president, The Kaplan Thaler Group
Idina Menzel, Tony award-winning performer
Abbe Raven, president and CEO, A&E Television Networks
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Gina Sanders, president and CEO, Fairchild Fashion Group

Sandra Lee, editor-in-chief Semi Homemade Magazine, New York Times bestselling-author, and Food Network celebrity, emceed the event. Betty White was honored with a Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

Presenters included:

Rosie O’Donnell, talk show host and comedian
Paula Kerger, president and CEO PBS
Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO and chief creative officer, The Kaplan Thaler Group
Donna Tyler, news anchor, CBS 2
Mark Burnett, producer
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief The Huffington Post
Evelyn Lauder, senior corporate vice president, Estée Lauder Companies

Lauren Shapiro, BurrellesLuce, with Gwen Ifill, PBS, and Sonia Hayes-McNaughton of Goldman Sachs at the 2011 New York Women in Communications Matrix AwardsThe luncheon started with a word from the host and More Magazine editor, Lesley Jane Seymour. Following opening remarks and the presentation of scholarships to the NYWICI award winners, the presenters donned the podium with their hilarious quips, inspirational stories and sincere appreciation for their friend whom they were asked to present with the Matrix Award. Cindi Berger had additional support from friend John Legend who made a special guest appearance at the ceremony and performed two songs on the second floor balcony.

Betty White, Matrix Lifetime Achievement award winner, made her appearance via live satellite from Los Angeles with friend and actress Valerie Harper.  Betty joked, “It’s wonderful to be a role model at 89 — it’s wonderful to be anything at 89.”

The 2011 NYWICI Matrix Awards were both inspirational and memorable. Did you attend the event? Then be sure to share your experience with other BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers. To see more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page or the BurrellesLuce Flickr page.


*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

The Future Can’t Come Fast Enough for the News Industry and It’s Looking a Little Brighter

Friday, May 28th, 2010
Image Courtesy of DC Comics

Image Courtesy of DC Comics

It would be hard to imagine the fictional newspaper men (and women) of the past like Perry White of the “Daily Planet” (Superman) hollering for their first quarter numbers of “unique visitors per month” or boasting about their ranking for “most-linked-to-news-outlets” or even deliberating about putting their content behind a “pay-wall.” Today these are just some of the relatively new terms being used to describe the various metrics and business models newspapers are exploring during this transitional period in which the entire industry finds itself. 

For the last several years the forecasts for news organizations have been filled with doom and gloom. However the news about the news industry has been much rosier as of late. For starters, newspaper website’s traffic continues to grow. As highlighted in this Media Post article, online newspaper operations from the top 25 media outlets reached 83.7 million unique visitors in April, up 10 percent from March, 12 percent from February and 15 percent from January of this year, according to comscore figures released by the Newspaper National Network. And according to Nielsen, 74.4 million unique visitors per month in the first quarter of 2010 were a record – up from 72 million from the first quarter of 2009. These increases were actually higher than competitors like CNN and The Huffington post who came in at 43.4 million (flat) and 22.2 million (a 3 percent drop) respectively.

(For a list of the top 100 daily newspapers, 25 consumer magazines, 25 blogs, and the 20 social networks in the U.S., check out the updated 2010 Top Media List from BurrellesLuce.)

It is obvious from these figures that, as Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt was recently quoted as saying, “Newspapers don’t have a demand problem they have a business model problem.”

As various business models continue to be tested, measured and debated within the industry, a silver bullet has yet to emerge. So far, it appears that several viable solutions are taking shape and depending on who you ask you’ll get a justification for each of them. According to this article on, “Last year Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of The Wall Street Journal’s parent company News Corp., said ‘The current free access business model favored by most content providers was flawed and contributed to a fall in newspapers’ revenues.’” The WSJ is currently behind a pay-wall and “he also claimed the Wall Street Journal had proved that charging for content could be made to work pointing out that 360,000 people had downloaded an iPhone WSJ application in three weeks and that users would soon be made to pay “handsomely” for accessing WSJ content.”

Alternatively, The New Times plans to use a metered system (EZ Pass approach) starting January 2011, where a certain number of articles would be free before demanding payment (similar to what Financial Times is currently using). This may solve their monetization challenge, but it will no doubt affect their “most-linked-to-news-outlets” rank, a measure used to track the amount of people who actually clicked-through to the original news organizations website via a blog or third party source. This could significantly impact results, with 99 percent of the stories bloggers include as links coming from traditional mainstream media sources. Interestingly enough, 80 percent of the stories linked to in online and social media come from only four news outlets: The New York Times (20 percent), BBC news (23 percent), (21 percent), and the Washington Post (16 percent). The Wall Street Journal has twice the print circulation as the New York Times, but  is not on this short list. 

Some pay-wall advocates would argue that the majority of these visitors are merely “drive by users” who come in once through an aggregator and don’t really engage with the product. The counter argument claims more traffic directed to a newspaper’s online site would ultimately translate into higher advertising dollars.

If the numbers prove the demand for news content is there, let’s hope for the news industry’s sake the revenue will follow. In my opinion credible news journalism still trumps all. As long as it’s being distributed through the device of choice, engaged by the readers, and monetized in a way that generates revenue without isolating readers – it doesn’t matter whether it’s done through pay-walls, online advertising, or possibly something we haven’t thought of yet. (After all necessity is the mother of all inventions.) A tall order for the news industry for sure, but the future suddenly looks a whole lot brighter. There’s no doubt the identity of the news industry will change, but a reinvented news organization is still better than none at all.