PRSA Portland Metro Chapter

Meet the Media – The Skanner


May 14


Lisa Loving / The Skanner

Lisa Loving / The Skanner

Meet the Media Recap – Lisa Loving at The Skanner

By Jessica Strom, Marketing Representative, MacKay Sposito

PRSA Portland Metro Volunteer, Member since 2012   

News reporting continues to evolve, and its changes can be felt close to home. In honor of April’s “Celebrate Diversity Month” focus, Lisa Loving from The Skanner graciously agreed to share her perspective on the industry and provide insight into pitching to hyper-targeted media during the “Meet the Media” breakfast event on April 30. If you missed it, here are a few of the takeaways from the event:

1) The decrease in advertising revenue is keeping reporters up at night. Everyone wants free visibility, but the truth is, newspaper real estate just can’t be given away. The news cycle is faster, but it’s also slower due to less people working in it. Smaller staffs mean less people to fact check and review press releases. Newspapers operate on a shoestring budget, and reporters appreciate PR Pros who collaborate with them and help make their jobs easier.

2) Collaboration between reporters and PR Pros means that now, more than ever, PR Pros need to know the reporter and their audience before pitching stories. Make sure the story will be interesting for that particular publication, has all of the necessary information and has a picture to go with it. Also, if you see a story that’s incomplete, reach out to the reporter and offer to help round it out.

Quick tip: If you’re sending a story to multiple outlets, consider distributing different pictures and altering the text slightly for each submission, so publications can have a unique story to publish. Collaboration is also occurring between competing publications to increase speed for fact checking. This practice can be controversial though, as the “rules of engagement” are being worked out in this new information sharing landscape (for example, determining who gets the credit for high profile stories that are winning awards when fact sharing is involved).

3) Social media and the digitization of news has had a complex impact on publications. While social platforms allow for engagement, Lisa raised a thought-provoking question when she asked: “Who benefits?” The social media channels divert traffic away from a news organization’s website and ultimately benefit from site traffic.

Attendees had the opportunity to ask Lisa questions specific to reaching The Skanner audience, and here is some insight she provided:

  • The Skanner is a community paper, with information for families, events and civic opportunities
  • The Skanner’s email blasts go out to a list of 22,000+ individuals
  • Send a horizontal picture with your story (due to website restrictions)
  • Text should be in a Word Doc or in the body of the email – no PDFs!

This breakfast “Meet the Media” was well attended and the dynamic discussion gave attendees insight into the local newspaper landscape. Have questions or anything to add? Tweet us using #PDXMedia.

Until next time-

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