7 Media Landscape Trends to Watch Now

The start of 2022 brought uncertainty as we navigated the Omicron variant and once again needed to take a nimble and quickly evolving approach with media, including at key events such as CES. Now as restrictions once again relax across the US, brands are having to assess the best avenues to engage journalists to ensure maximum attention for their campaigns. While many outlets and reporters are still operating in a hybrid environment — which includes how they are working, where they are working, and their reporting plans — others are keen to meet in person and take full advantage of live experiences. And that’s not the only consideration you should keep in mind as you move forward with your media planning.

As 2022 takes off and you continue to plan your brand campaigns, these seven media landscape trends  from our team of media experts are worth watching:

  1. Substack is Thriving: While Substack is not new, an increasing number of lifestyle journalists have joined the club, producing their own weekly newsletters. Their newsletters provide an inside, real-time look at upcoming editorial opportunities, pitching preferences and pet peeves, as well as industry insights.
  2. Change the Channel: As media outlets diversify where/how they’re drawing in audiences, new avenues to engage continue to spring up – from TikTok (check out NiemanLab’s running list here) to ‘bite-sized’ newsletters to podcasts. These channels offer more opportunity for storytelling beyond the ‘traditional’ editorial. Watch for media publishers to continue embracing & leaning into fresh channels.
  3. The Power of Podcasting: Speaking of rapidly growing channels, podcasting is thriving with some investors speculating that it supplants TV and radio. In fact, about a quarter of U.S. adults (23%) say they sometimes get news from podcasts, according to a Pew Research Center survey. If you’re looking to break through with a reporter or target outlet, chances are they have a podcast and are looking for guests. It can also further build a relationship with a journalist since podcasts offer more of a free flowing conversation. To hear from a pro, listen to one of the most popular podcasters in history: How I Built This.
  4. Broadcast News Transformation: Broadcast news is undergoing a transformation with several key primetime permanent anchor spots open, executive shake-ups and mergers that are almost to the finish line. While news streaming platforms also aren’t new, networks like CNN are putting resources toward its own offering called CNN+, set to roll out in Spring, while others such as ABC, CBS and NBC continue to create new shows and hire big names to fill the always on airtime.
  5. Digitization of Newsrooms: Traditional newsrooms are shrinking as a result of the increase in digital content, the decline of print and traditional broadcast media consumption, the ease and prevalence of hybrid work models, as well as budget cuts and the mergers of large media entities. We’re seeing changes in the bandwidth of media professionals and a larger number of journalists who cover several beats across various sectors. Similarly, there’s a continued growth in sponsored content, as more digital media organizations look to recruit and retain new subscribers.
  6. ‘Walking the Walk’ in Healthcare DE&I: The COVID pandemic exposed some bitter truths about racial and health disparities, and that has led to reporters being even more discerning about stories that paint a larger picture about diversity and inclusion. While everyone tries to ‘talk the talk’ on DE&I initiatives, those organizations successful in sharing their perspective via media will ground their work in data and proof points – particularly in health media conversations – to show how they’re bridging the gaps and making health care and better health outcomes and a reality for underserved communities.
  7. A Hybrid Era: After two years of on-and-off restrictions, we are now seeing more journalists getting out of ‘the office’ and into the communities they serve to do face-to-face reporting. While in-person reporting has again returned as an option, virtual interviews are still considered an acceptable alternative for many media outlets. Virtual also allows for more flexibility for both media and interviewees as circumstances continue to evolve.

While the media landscape changes as quickly as the fast-moving news cycle, Ketchum’s Global Media Specialty keeps its finger on the pulse. Connect with us to learn more about the depth of our earned media capabilities.

 

Contributors to this blog: Erica Saviano, Marissa Kandel, Jen Reinhard, Bethany Hardy, Irene Rogers, Kerry Hendry and Alana Prisco.