Sunday, June 04, 2006

What's the value of online coverage?

Years ago - pre-Internet - if any of us can remember that far back, getting coverage in the print version of a daily newspaper or target magazine was a huge goal; an achievement that would see the PR person and/or agency do a wee victory dance. Or if the coverage was significant, a raucous lap round the office. Well…perhaps that was just me…

Now – my marketing colleagues are frequently asking if we’ve had any good coverage in online publications. If it’s online, like the Factiva Research about French CEOs we provide to Les Echos each month for example, they can forward the URL to salespeople who can forward it to clients on prospects etc. They can refer to the link in direct marketing campaigns – online coverage definitely makes it easier and quicker to get further internal and external mileage from the piece.

Which leaves the old PR practitioner in somewhat of a quandary. What is more important in terms of print or online coverage? What’s more valuable and what gets more reach? Which medium is most appropriate to support a company’s PR strategy?

I guess the answer will be different for each company and for each scenario. I still love flicking through newspapers and magazines and seeing coverage – but an article can often get far more traction online, with bloggers jumping onto a story and giving it another round. It will be most interesting to see how this debate pans out.


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