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    How to Support Journalists Affected By Layoffs

    2024 has not been kind to the media industry. Two months into the new year and we’ve seen the loss of entire publications (The Messenger) and multiple layoff and newsroom restructuring announcements from outlets like Sports Illustrated, TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Business Insider, and the Los Angeles Times


    With so much upheaval and uncertainty in media in 2024, it’s important that PR professionals stay up to date on what’s happening with their media contacts and actively support their journalist friends affected by layoffs. 


    How PR pros can support journalists affected by layoffs


    1. Pause

    Before sending out that pitch, take a breather. It’s PR, not the ER. Layoffs affect the individuals who lost their jobs and the remaining staff who are left to pick up their stories and beats. Everyone at a publication that’s experiencing layoffs or staff walkouts has a lot more work on their plates, so pause before you send mass pitch emails. 


    2. Research

    Many journalists affected by layoffs share the news on their LinkedIn and X profiles. When building a new media list or referencing an existing one, do a little research and check your target journalist’s LinkedIn or Twitter profiles to see if they’ve been affected by layoffs or if their publication has recently cut staff. You may need to pivot to a new contact or publication based on what you learn. 


    3. Offer genuine support

    At the end of the day, we’re all human. The best thing you can do for your media friendlies experiencing layoffs is to be human. Offer kind words via email or text, make relevant introductions, and ask them what support they would prefer. Relationships are at the core of public relations, so now is the time to lean into that.

    4. Practice patience

    Media relations is often a long game, and that’s especially true when newsrooms are facing budget and staffing cuts. Thanks to the added workload, reporters may be much slower to respond to your pitches and more likely to opt out of events. Practice patience and counsel your clients along the way.


    5. Pivot

    A great PR pro can easily adapt and pivot their strategies to meet the moment. Now is a good time to focus on writing targeted pitches that provide reporters with all the details they need to write a story with little follow-up.





    Building relationships with journalists and understanding how they prefer to be pitched is vital. Podcasts like Coffee with a Journalist give you exclusive intel into hundreds of journalists and their top tips for PR professionals to land stories.


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