DC PR pros increasingly turning to bloggers, new media

It turns out that the executive branch isn’t the only Washington institution in transition, according to PRWeek’s latest media analysis....

It turns out that the executive branch isn’t the only Washington institution in transition, according to PRWeek’s latest media analysis. PR professionals and journalists both are coping with major media outlets’ reductions – or altogether closings – of their DC bureaus.

Here are a few other observations that communications pros and journalists in the nation’s capital relayed to PRWeek:

  • The cutbacks are hastening agencies’ targeting of alternative media and increasing the need for reporter education, said Stan Collender, MD at Qorvis Communications. "First of all, [alternative media is] all in its infancy," he said. "We are learning to pitch them at the same time they are learning." Collender also noticed that conference calls are replacing press conferences as more reporters covering public affairs are outside of the Beltway.

  • Garrett Graff, editor-at-large of Washingtonian, noticed a number of ongoing trends, including the consolidation of Washington coverage among outlets within the same chain, an overall decline in the number of correspondents, and media outlets eliminating almost entirely "non-news-of-the-day enterprise items." Bloggers, he added, are not replacing journalists on a person-to-person basis. "I think we all have real high hopes for what bloggers are going to do, and we are seeing in some instances [bloggers win journalism awards]," he said. "The downside is that there aren’t anywhere near as many [Polk Award winner] Josh Marshalls as there are reporters being cut out of the picture at this point."

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