Ziff Davis Enterprise Goes All-Digital: Why It's a Good Thing for PR
Folks that have been in tech PR for 10 years or more may have intially met the news earlier this week that the Ziff Davis Enterprise publications, including the venerable eWEEK, are going all digital in 2012 with consternation.
More fuel for the "PR is dead" fire, some may have thought.
This is the exact wrong way to look at it. Here's why.
Validating Pew's State of the Media Report
In March, I blogged about Pew's must-read State of the Media report for 2011. What it stated was that, for the first time, more people are getting their news from the web more than print and newspapers. Included in this online consumption are smartphones, tablets and Facebook social news apps.
It's driven innovation resulting in new publications like the iPad-delivered The Daily, Facebook app-based versions of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and new subscription models like that of The Boston Globe centered on digital platforms. These new models are resulting in profits for the first time in a long time.
The Pew report also discussed "job substitution" vs. job loss in newsrooms, also a reversal of a long trend. Indeed, as Ziff Davis Enterprise CEO Steve Weitzner stated in the Folio article about the moves, it will be adding editors due to the fact that it will increase the frequency of issues of all its publications.
'We will publish it in the same way--it will go through the same editorial process, the stories will get vetted, they'll be laid out by art, we just won't print it or mail it. We're going to invest that savings in content. We'll be able to add editors for the first time in a while - we've been adding but we'll be able to make a substantial investment in content - we'll have more vehicles, so we'll need it.'
The "more vehicles" refers to the series of optimized sites and apps for a variety of smart phones and tablets it will be developing.
Need for Content Important
What this move also reinforces is the fact that business technology buyers and IT pros still very much value and demand content from traditional sources like eWEEK, Baseline and CIO Insight, still more so than social media, as data from Forrester showed over the summer.
All of this is a good thing for tech PR pros. Media relations is still important, but it needs to be approached in a different way that factors in the way that editors will be developing stories and the new demands they have based upon the vehicles through which content is delivered. I wrote about this new approach to media relations in my post about the Pew report.
What is your reaction to this news? What opportunities do you see? Or do you think this is more bad news?