A while back I was discussing how the ability of driving traffic to stories is nothing new for PR professionals. Actually, I strongly believe being able to generate buzz and traffic around a story published in the media about a client is something journalists should consider when covering a topic. In the current background, it seems that this ability of PRs will prove to be worth quite a bit in the business world.
We all know that blogs and online news outlets usually give bonuses to their writers based on traffic, engagement or shares that help spread the word. It’s not unusual for a writer to make more just because his or her story gets tons of retweets or Facebook shares or because it brings in thousands of visits.
What’s even more interesting is that this trend will soon move to media outlets that made a name in print and have online editions. Rumor has it USA Today is considering giving traffic bonuses to writers. As public relations professionals pitch stories to the very same journalists who will earn more based on traffic, how good the PR expert is at helping out on this matter will count.
And it should count! All news outlets are businesses. The numbers matter to them as the matter to other types of websites. I don’t see this as a new trick to pull to get some coverage. The way I see PR and journalism is as a collaboration, mutual help. The journalist gets a good topic to cover and information helping him get a broad picture, plus the traffic required by their supervisors, the PR pro gets coverage for a client, which translated into traffic and hopefully sales for them and an ongoing contract for the PR consultant.
The million dollar question for PRs right now is can you drive traffic to stories? If not, are you planning on learning how to soon? Now it’s the time to do it!