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Journalists less inclined to divulge extensive shopping tips

News about “good value” products still hot, but with less in-depth coverage

In this downer economy, there are a lot products and services of good value out there for consumers, which are high in quality but yet affordable.

As matter of fact, there’s been an uptick in the past year in the volume of news about these products and services according to the Cision Index, which is a holistic look at the quality and quantity of news coverage in major news sources for top U.S. companies.  In particular, we’ve noticed quite a lot of good value mentions in such industries as retail, travel and technology.

If we dig a little bit deeper, something less intuitive appears. It seems that stories about those sweet deals are being deemed less newsworthy by journalists as consumers stick to the bare necessities. In the graph below, you can see that the percentage of good value stories with an extensive mention in an article has been decreasing during the past few quarters, while the percentage of good value stories with just a fleeting mention has been increasing.

Whereas back in early to mid-2008, the news narrative seemed to be “look at all these luxury items you can get for a bargain price!” More recently, the narrative seems to be, “let’s focus on saving money, but acknowledge that high-quality items at bargain prices exist.” So, what we have here is not a net decrease in good value stories, but rather a reallocation of the intensity of the news, from high to low. Of course, similar changes have occurred in the past few months due to the shift in the economy, such as a change in the way journalists are covering “green” news.

For PR professionals, a change in tactics might be needed to cope with the adjustment in the journalist storyline.  Products that had been branded as an inexpensive luxury might need be to be repositioned as more functional in order to fit with the updated trend.

What are some other tactics you can use to make your good value story pitches au courant?


Percentage of Occurrences of Good Value Products and Services*


*Data From the Cision Index 2008 and 2009
Between Q2 2008 and Q1 2009, there was a decrease in extensive mentions of good value products, while during the same period, an increase of passing mentions of good value products. This indicates a reallocation of the intensity of good-value news from high to low during that period. Human readers determined the occurrence of good value products and services within news articles.


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