Our budget cuts mean we don’t have enough stories to fill the pages of the paper. Should we accept PR stories and advertorials or risk criticism from readers and loss of revenue due to fewer readers?
I don’t think that it’d be a bad idea to accept advertorials and PR stories as long as we label them as such. I think a lot of the bad rep that such things get is because of the fact that they often go under the radar and people are deceived into thinking they’re actual stories. I think that as long as we are very honest with our readers, it won’t do any damage. In fact, we could include a disclaimer about how we are now accepting advertorials and PR stories and give a little explanation as to why, to create a little more media literacy within our readership. I think that our readership might actually increase if we’re honest. I know that personally, I’m always really hesitant to believe that newspapers are always honest and reliable. So yes, let’s accept PR stories and advertorials, but let’s be honest about it! Maybe we can give PR stories and advertorials a new face, one that isn’t covered with trickery and slyness.
I agree that it would be alright if we had some PR stories and advertorials in the paper. It allows the paper to earn revenue from charging for the space being used for the articles. By adding these new types of articles to the paper it could generate new readership and help increase revenue. you might lose some readers but most won’t care, if the article doesn’t appeal to the reader then they will just skip to the next thing to read. I think it would be a good idea to expand the type of content in the paper.
This all depends largely on the content that we decide to cover in the advertorial articles. Also, are these budget cuts going to close the paper if we decide to not go ahead with the PR stories and advertorials? I think that if we really don’t have the stories to fill the pages of our paper, then we should probably look at some PR stories and advertorials. I think that we should provide a disclaimer with these articles to identify them to our readers. They will more than likely respect us more if we aren’t trying to sneak these stories in. Not everyone is going to enjoy the addition of these new stories, but we may also gain new readership by adding them as well. We could definitely use the revenue boost and this may be a very viable way of achieving that boost. We should probably start with only a few PR stories and advertorials, keeping it light at the beginning. Once we start getting the initial feedback from our readership base, then we can proceed from that point. If we get a positive feedback, we can start increasing these stories and if we get negative feedback, we will have to look at other ways of bringing in revenue.
I agree, if we add only a few at first, just enough to fill up the space, we can see how the readers react. Also, we wouldn’t have to add PR stories or advertorials all the time. The next time our paper is ready to go the presses or post online, we might have enough stories to fill the pages.
I think my colleagues have pretty much hit the nail on the head. We should not be worried of criticism by our readers as long as we stay open and honest. The only thing immoral about press releases is that they try to convince the readers that they are something they actually aren’t. If we have disclaimers that say the releases are not legitimate news stories, then it is purely an add, not a brainwashing scheme. If we are not coming up with enough material to fill the pages with real news stories, adding disclaimed press releases would only add content. Adding press releases to a paper full of rich material would diminish that paper’s quality, but since we have the opposite problem, it could actually improve our quality.
If we accept PR stories and advertorials to fill the slots in our paper, we have to make sure we do it correctly. Our readers have always valued our honesty, and if we let them know what exactly they are reading, I think they will forgive us. Perhaps the next time we go to print we will have more stories and we won’t have to utilize this process again. If it only occurs every once in a while, I think the risk would be worth it. We would also have to be careful of the content and make sure the story or advertorial does not contradict with the ideals of the paper for that would be more of a definitive way for us to lose readers, as opposed to a few PR stories and advertorials.
I personally think accepting Pr stories as well as advisories would be the best way to go. The main reason I say this is becuase the last thing you want is a loss of revenue as well as getting very bad critics from your own readers. Now accepting such things may at first look bad but perhaps in the long run it was a good idea to do that, you want to able to fill as much space as you can in your paper if you make it to short or have empty spaces where more things could be, it makes you look bad both as a company and publisher, something you can’t want to happe. Who knows by accepting pr stories and more, maybe your percent in readers will groow tremendously over the course of a few months or close to a year as well as having your revenue go up to. But that’s all up to you, though some may not like the idea of accepting such things in fears of having their idea morphed into something terrible and lost in everything else, you just sometimes have to go with it and work your way into it, where everything. You do will still be noticeable among everything else that was put into your paper.
I think we should try and come up with something to fill our pages before taking the easy route with PR stories. I realize that everyone does it and it is easy money, but I feel it makes journalists lazy.
PR stories are deceptive and one sided in general.
I think we could boost readership by using that empty space to state why we are not running corporate ads, made to look like news. People appreciate honest and integrity.
Perhaps we could call on our readers to send in interesting stories.
When the going gets tough, I’d like to think, the team I work on, has the imagination and initiative to fill those pages.
The Haveman Chronicle (Summer)
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