Ken Kurson on Changes in the Consulting Industry

Ken Kurson has had a prolific career in the media industry, spanning decades. But his background does not merely include stints working for media outlets. Instead, Kurson has had an extensive career working in politics. His work in politics has included experiences working for a formidable and viable presidential campaign, as well as a political consultant – both at Jamestown Associates and at Teneo.

We all know that the media and public relations consulting industries have changed dramatically in the last few years. Much of this can be directly attributed to the broader changes in the media industry itself. Media property after media property has been transitioning its focus and employing more aggressive and substantial resources toward their digital platforms, as opposed to their print outlets (that’s assuming those outlets are still in existence).

In turn, this has changed the way media consultants can pitch these outlets. PR Newswire is no longer considered an impactful placement for those in the media relations business. In fact, in some ways the strategies consultants employ to attract the attention of members of the media has changed, dramatically – as a reflection of these broader changes taking place in the industry. Whereas press releases used to be the very first mechanism a consultant would use in order to alert the media about any news regarding a client, the press release has become a thing of the past, among most media relations industries.

Instead, with the continued saturation of the media space, there are more and more consultancies seeking and vying for the attention of members of the media. This dynamic has continued growing in this direction. And with these changes, there’s been more of an onus on the part of media consultants to seek to develop personal relationships with members of the media to ensure that their clients’ news items get the attention they deserve.

For this reason personalized pitching has become a fundamental part and practice of any good political or media consultancy. The process can certainly be very labor intensive; especially when one considers how inundated each reporter and editors inbox naturally gets, with pitches from agencies across the nation and the globe. But this is what separates the tactful consultants from those that simply press on with little to no strategy. Surely, their work-product is a reflection of the fact that they sought to merely throw as much at the wall as possible, with the hope they could get it  to stick.

But beyond the changes in the consulting sphere, there has also been a significant transition into digital media entrepreneurship – among many former central players in the media industry. Many have prudently shifted their attention and resources to developing their own news properties on the web, and design digital platforms that can generate substantial advertising revenue in a strategic and tactful manner.

Book and Film Globe is a digital news property that Ken Kurson himself created to cater to audiences that appreciate literature and reading. Kurson has dedicated himself not only to the aforementioned property; but to creating a vast network and portfolio of such news properties that have developed incredibly loyal and dedicated followings and audiences of their own. Another of these many properties is Fine Art Globe, which has had great success already in generating buzz and attention in the art world.

These continued changes in the consulting and media relations industry will only persist, as the media industry as a whole continues to change. The more general transition to digital media will continue leading to a greater interest in ways to better monetize that space; and also operate within it . The future of media and journalism are clear – and print has clearly become a dying breed, with nobody seemingly interested in resurrecting it  from the dead. These changes present ample opportunity for publishers and editors who are savvy and tactful. It  remains to be seen who those individuals prove to be. Change does not need to always be cast in a negative light. On the contrary, in this case – it  presents ample opportunity for savvy tacticians in the media business to leverage the digital media landscape to increase the sizes of their audiences and the interest and loyalty of their readers.


Article Editor

Pamela is a television journalist, humor writer and novelist. Her first novel, Allegedly, was released in 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She and her husband, Daniel, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.

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