Over the last year, readers have continued to look for new ways to engage with their favorite media. Between remote work and more time at home, people are searching for better ways to stay in touch.
This means that traditional media – digital or print – is no longer cutting it as their only source of news. To fill this need, many media outlets are stepping up their efforts to engage readers through alternative sources such as podcasts and newsletters.
Axios Local launched an impressive 14 newsletters in 2021, with plans to add almost a dozen more. Insider bet big on Morning Brew, gaining a controlling stake in the newsletter and podcast outlet. The New York Times announced the launch of its own podcast platform designed to centralize its audio content, including several top podcasts such as The Daily.
A recent Reuters Institute study found that four in five surveyed publishers said they were planning to invest in podcasts and other digital audio to boost audience engagement. Another 70% said they would be directing new investments towards newsletter production, meaning that we can expect the two mediums to become even more important for reaching clients’ target audiences.
With increasing numbers comes increasing competition. As the number of podcasts on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts rise, so does competition for a share of their regular listeners. In the past few years, Spotify has gone from hosting a few hundred thousand programs to over 3 million – and while its number of listeners has also grown, it hasn’t matched the number of new shows. Niche newsletters have exploded as publishers add new verticals to meet audiences where they’re at.
With the popularity of podcasts and newsletters and increasing competition in mind, here’s how public relations professionals can make the most of these mediums for clients this year:
Consider opportunities outside of the normal targets. You may have your go-to contacts at a publication, but make sure to keep up with new forms of media the outlet is launching. Inquire about new beats, newsletters and audio content from publishers that could help your client tell their story and reach their audience even more effectively.
Highlight facts and statistics that will stand out in short-form content. In a newsletter, a reporter may have only one or two paragraphs to share why a story is important and newsworthy to their readers. Podcast episode descriptions provide even less space. Providing creators with the information they need to catch their audience’s attention has always been important, but in today’s world, it is even more crucial.
Invest in media training for clients. Subject matter experts are the key to bringing these stories to life. Podcast interviews may require a different approach to the conversation to effectively get messages across, and it’s the task of the PR pro to provide resources needed for participants to be comfortable and confident when it comes to audio content.
A new year means new opportunities to tell clients’ stories. When charting out 2022, consider making podcasts and newsletters a key part of your media strategy. By helping reach a niche audience and engage a wider range of readers at priority publications, the two mediums are sure to add value to your outreach.
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