On Dec. 14, our Denver office partnered with the Public Relations Society of America, Colorado Chapter to host its annual media roundtable – a signature networking event that brings together the region’s top journalists, editors, and PR professionals to discuss emerging media trends and PR best practices. The sold-out event, sponsored by Matter and Visit Denver, featured a live panel discussion followed by interactive breakout sessions where participants shared insights and perspectives on the current state of news media. More than 50 members of Colorado-based agencies and in-house communications were in attendance!
Alicia Nieva-Woodgate, PRSA Colorado 2024 President-elect, moderated the panel with:
- John Frank, Reporter, Axios Media
- Dana Coffield, Senior Editor, The Colorado Sun
- Kerrie Lee Brown, VP of Media, SUCCESS Magazine
- Michael de Yoanna, Editor in Chief, Colorado Community Media
- Addison Herron-Wheeler, Editor in Chief, OUT FRONT Magazine
The panel focused on the intersection of artificial intelligence and news media, the evolving challenges of local and regional journalism, and the importance of prioritizing LGBTQ+ coverage during an election year. It also highlighted some of the major stories Colorado media will be covering in 2024. The breakout sessions offered attendees the opportunity to engage panelists and ask questions.
Notable themes of the evening included:
AI’s Role in the Newsroom
Generative AI has officially made its way inside media newsrooms. Panelists shed light on how publications are embracing GenAI as a productivity tool to help streamline workflows, copy edit, and make reporting more effective. However, they were in unanimous agreement that fully AI-generated content lacks human ingenuity and can violate journalism ethics with serious plagiarism and copyright risks. Utilizing AI to produce stories, photos, or ads is prohibited across their newsrooms, and they do not accept contributed content that appears to be AI-generated. Publications face the challenge of identifying how to harness AI’s power while still maintaining ethical standards.
Focusing on Stories That Matter
The art of the pitch is more important than ever across the Colorado media landscape. Panelists offered insights on what types of PR pitches move the needle, stressing the importance of focusing on stories that are relevant to their target audience and drive larger conversations. All panelists agreed that deeper, more thoughtful stories with a personal angle will continue to resonate with their audiences and compelling, original content will remain applicable to the everyday reader. Integrating granular data, brevity, and storytelling within your pitch are effective ways to convey the “why this matters” for your story. Before pitching a reporter, panelists emphasized it’s critical for PR professionals to understand the publication’s niche, audience, and content style ahead of time. Doing that homework is worth its weight in gold for building strong media relationships.
Trending Rocky Mountain Topics
The Colorado region will have no shortage of storylines in 2024. Local outlets will remain focused on covering the top issues affecting their respective communities and neighborhoods. Panelists said their publications will be focused on the presidential election, local elections, LGBTQ+ challenges, the homelessness crisis, start-ups and entrepreneurs, mushroom legalization, and the 10-year anniversary of marijuana legalization for recreational use. The media landscape will continue to evolve quickly.
Partnering with PRSA Colorado for this important event is always a highlight for our team and we look forward to continuing to partner for more PR magic!