State of the Industry: 2016

by Kevin Foley | November 20, 2018

KEF Media Blog


The number of companies offering broadcast and digital public relations services has dwindled down to a precious few. Publically traded Medialink is long gone as are at least a half dozen other firms I considered major competitors just a decade ago.

As a pioneer in this industry, we’re fortunate KEF Media is thriving today despite regulatory intrusions, a deep recession, and changing dynamics within the business.

We’re still here for one reason, the founding principle on which I launched the company in 1986: media results.

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Many of the deceased competitors never understood what we did. Public relations professionals weren’t hiring us to produce slick video news releases, heavy with commerciality that a brand manager would love but a television news producer would toss in the trash can.

After a number of years with Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum, I knew our agency and corporate clients wanted their key messages to reach as many television viewers as possible, something we call “tonnage.” This was our focus at the beginning, and it’s our focus today.

Many of those failed competitors didn’t want to do the costly work it takes to combine a client’s messaging with relevant news topics. Back then, they just cranked out whatever VNR they thought they could get away with.

When the content failed to air or generated a paltry number of impressions, which was often the case, a common ploy was to blame the news cycle: oh, sorry, it was a heavy news day... the stations couldn’t fit your piece into their newscasts but they promised to air it in the future.We called this approach “churning and burning.” These companies knew the client was likely not coming back anytime soon, but there was always another one around the corner.

I recognized this as a self-defeating strategy long ago. When I met with the founder of Medialink in late 1986, he asked me, “How many VNRs are out there?”

I told him that was the wrong question. The right question was, “How many VNRs are out there that can be done well and generate results that matter?”

vnr.jpgAs I say, Medialink is defunct, its management following the “how many VNRs are out there” strategy to its predictable conclusion.

Today, we’re not producing the kind of video news releases we did 30 years ago. Instead, we’re content creators looking for any and all platforms for our clients’ video; television, radio, bloggers, influencers, web sites, online communities and so on.

We offer a dedicated team of media professionals who do nothing but media outreach, pitching and placement that produces outstanding results.

That’s why you come to us. Right?


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