Importance of Online Coverage

Although print newspapers and magazines still have a broad audience, and play an important role in disseminating content, many outlets have evolved to include an online edition to address the different ways their audiences choose to receive information. Whether you pick up the morning paper off your lawn, buy your favorite magazine off the newsstand, or receive the latest news via RSS feeds, today's publications are diversifying to meet their reader's needs by providing accessible delivery options.

As published online in MIT Communications Forum, director David Thorburn states, "New technologies never displace older systems with decisive suddenness; the process of media transition is nearly always accretive and gradual, a mix of tradition and innovation, in which emerging and established systems interact, shift and collude with one another."

In PR, even in this digital age, we still get asked how important is online coverage, and our answer is: important! Here's why:

  • The majority of news today is consumed online. All leading newspapers, such as The New York Times ,Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc.,have online unique visitor numbers that are much higher than their print subscriptions. This holds true for many newspapers and magazines.
  • Secondly, online coverage has longevity. Once coverage appears online, you can search, find and read it after many months and even years. This isn't true for print articles – unless you keep huge stacks of past issues or visit a library's archive.
  • Thirdly, online coverage increases search engine optimization (SEO). Backlinks coming from external websites (e.g., news sites, blogs or Wikipedia) to your homepage are not only a sign of quality and trust, but ultimately increase your searchability and Google Page Rank.

Many of us still enjoy reading the printed word in the traditional fashion, but the power and importance of online coverage simply cannot be ignored.

We would like to hear which is more important to you - online or print? Email your comments to  

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