Louisa Kraitzick, Partner of Corporate and Digital at Pead

Broadcast’s decline: Adapting PR, Reputation and Marketing Strategies in a Shifting Media Landscape 

By now, you will be processing the initial shock of one of New Zealand's biggest media outlets proposing to shut up shop and that TVNZ is reducing its current affairs offering. Gone are hundreds of jobs and many of the familiar faces that we have welcomed into our lives.  

Time and time again we’ve seen as one media outlet declines others have grown in its place – particularly in the case of Bauer. But there is no way to sugar coat just how devastating declining broadcast media is for New Zealand’s public discourse. 

Even if we're not watching them, these people are trusted by us and open a vital channel to the public. The proposed closure means the editorial teams behind the stars of journalism like Miriama Kamo and Mike McRoberts will retreat – and so will their mandate to tell local stories. 

And as the shock starts to sink in, it’s natural for companies to start thinking ‘What does this mean for us?’.  

You understand that some of the platforms, your organisation, your customers and your potential customers relied on are declining.   

So, how worried should you be?  

Well, it depends on what your marketing strategy and/or reputation management strategy are, and where your target audience consumes information and entertainment.  

The proposal to shut down Newshub and changes at TVNZ are a continuation of trends we have seen for some time, and it highlights how critical integrated strategies are that don’t over-rely on any single channel. 

Media overall hasn’t diminished, but traditional media in the forms we grew up with has.  

The opportunities for earned, owned and shared media have probably never been greater. But let’s be clear that traditional media creating positive stories about your brand is incredibly powerful at driving awareness and consideration for your company and its products and services.  

Companies will have seen the trend of newsrooms tightening. Fewer journalists means less great journalism and this has a dire impact on news reporting.  

On the flip side, it also means positive stories focused on your company, products or services are even more valuable than ever.  

The companies that thrive will be those that can find common ground between the stories they want to tell, and the stories audiences want to engage with. 

Companies can win in this climate by upweighting their owned media strategy, by investing in their own website, newsletters or social media channels.  

This isn’t about pumping out advertising content. It’s about creating content that delivers to your strategy and that your target audience want to engage with.  

For many companies this should force a rethink. Traditionally, lots of businesses have thought it was a junior’s responsibility to create social media strategies or to publish content. 

In a rapidly evolving media landscape, the key is now diversifying the way you engage in a broad range of media to reflect the splintering of channels and audiences. 

The long and short of it is that you need to engage in a broad range of media, from traditional media through to newer news channels and everything in between.  

For a long time, PR was viewed as just media relations. But now you need to broaden your skillset beyond that.  

Securing editorial coverage must be part of a broader integrated plan.  

So, if you're working with a PR team who is talking to you only about media relations, it's time to really question whether you are investing wisely. 

These days, the best PR campaigns are integrated across multiple channels. They lean heavily on strategy and crafted narratives, and integrate with the work clients are doing internally or other specialist agencies are doing for them.  

Newshub’s closure and changes at TVNZ are an inflection point demonstrating how much media is evolving, and it shows us how much company’s strategies need to evolve too.  

The question is are you evolving, or are you trying to play the same game in a different paradigm?   

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