Wednesday, March 28, 2007

InfoWorld Loses its Wings

As most of you (in tech PR) already know, InfoWorld has discontinued its print version. The news leaked out late last week by InfoWorld staff, the usual bloggers and then finally was confirmed Monday by Steve Fox.

Additional thoughts by Ed Foster can be found here.

In recent months, we’ve seen many changes from Time Inc. reducing its staff, Line56 folding, Intelligent Enterprise moving to online only, Red Herring moving to PDFs with rumors still circulating of its closure and now InfoWorld moving to the online format. Whatever the case, the trend has been that the print version has gotten thinner and more opportunities have become available online.

I’m one of the few relatively new PR guys who still enjoy “getting my thumbs dirty.” Plus it’s always an awesome feeling to let a client know that they will be featured on the cover of a magazine. While that may be true, what it really boils down to is exposure and those sales leads that have your client buzzing, so the delivery mechanism of your clients messaging really doesn’t matter. That said, securing a cover has become increasingly more difficult, regardless of the publication because so many PR folks have clients in the same space that are vying for that spot as the publication continues to get thinner.

As PR pros, it’s our job to know about the different opportunities and how we can best delivery the company’s messaging. One dying trend, at least in my eyes is the podcast. It’s just a hassle to download or wait for podcasts to buffer. Webcasts are still great because it’s still a live interactive forum but a podcast is not convenient because you have to wait for something you don’t even know you want. I think we’ll continue to see more and more innovation online. Maybe in the near future, we’ll see a face-off of executives from competitive companies’ face-off in a live debate that can be viewed in cyberspace, instead of contributing 400-word articles. Or maybe the cover stories now will become the full text on the landing page every Monday.

Can’t wait to hear what other changes are coming next.

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