Spoiler alert: It isn’t
We’ve all insinuated, at some point in our careers, that print media is not going to survive what the digital evolution has in store for our industry. I say ‘our industry’ because, let’s face it, whether we work in PR, construction or the hospitality sector, this affects every working individual. IF it were true.
Paraphrasing Tariq Al Sharabi’s write-up on Cicero & Bernay’s website about the evolution of PR in the Middle East, the social media industry relies on PR for content, key messages and strategy development to ensure a seamless experience for the audience. This includes allowing the audience to read news in any medium they choose.
Dubai is home to incredibly talented journalists and publications, which as a PR agency, we are proud to be associated with. By building strong relationships we’ve learnt the true nature of their job, which is underpinned by the fact that people continue to have an emotional kinship with print media, despite the fact that individuals are increasingly adopting digital platforms in their daily routines.
We cannot deny the evolution towards digital content, but we can educate ourselves in the field to better understand the new mix between print and digital. One does not work without the other – we need digital content as much as we need print.
We wrote about it and yes, people are reading
Consider the global increase in publishing video content, which is overtaking traditional television broadcasts. This hasn’t resulted in companies and brands shying away from the challenge. On the contrary, the PR industry is riding on this development and creating video content that links back to clients’ ongoing campaigns and activities. For example, INFINITI of Arabian Automobiles recently launched their halo model – INFINITI Q50 Red Sport 400 – through a video mapping activation across their trademark white façade on Sheikh Zayed road.
How did PR amplify this activity? We wrote about it. By generating awareness through press releases, the video content was amplified across both print and social media, developing viral video content in the process.
We believe in print media. It makes us part of the cultural world we live in, which exists beyond the ‘screen.’ It makes us part of a world that focuses on reality and relevance that does not alter based on user generated content. We can count on the credibility of our print media sources because apart from revenue generation and reputation management, they depend heavily on research and debating alternate facts to get to the real story.
In summation, I believe there is an integrated approach to be formed. The resulting hybrid not only works towards bettering the brand, but simultaneously increases our knowledge as part of the communication industry. We used to set the story for print and amplify it online, but now it works vice versa too. Print is not dead, or even dying; it continues to play a vital role in a more exciting media mix than ever before.
Riya Vatnani is the Senior Account Executive of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the GCC. | www.cbpr.me