The death of media relations is a perennial favourite from our marketing colleagues. The latest comes from content marketers who proclaim that in our fragmented media landscape where trust is in short supply, content market is the new PR.
I'm not so sure.
Yes, the PR landscape has changed and will continue to change.
Yes, there are many competing channels for our ears and eyes.
Yes, media outlets have the bias and agendas.
And yes, attention can be bought, albeit fleetingly.
But it was always so.
Media relations has one huge advantage. It is earned. It isn't, as the self proclaimed 'proven visionary' David Meerman Scott says 'begged attention'.
Content - whether comment, interviews or op-eds - that are first published in respected national, regional, and trade media carries weight and influence in a way a self published piece simply cannot.
It is a question of trust.
And that is why I would argue that content marketing should be driven and underpinned by a good media relations strategy.
Content marketing programmes can take a published theme and develop it further over longer time periods, but having its roots in media relations brings the much needed credibility.
For decades, the public relations industry relied on the media to publish clients' stories and help them raise visibility to achieve results. An agency would pitch a news outlet on a potential story, and that news outlet would either run the story or not. In the words of marketing guru David Meerman Scott, "You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free."