George Snell points out quite accurately that for many PR people a hit in BusinessWeek is at the top of their list. It's the kind of thing that impresses your clients, colleagues and bosses. It's what will earn you kudos in company meetings and help you get a prize from the professional PR community.
But the whole organization is worth about $5 million. That's what Bloomberg spent to buy it, though it also took on another $10 million in liabilities. The Wall Street Journal expects Bloomberg to brand the magazine Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Not that you needed more proof of the shrinking of traditional media, but the trick is knowing what a hit in BusinessWeek truly means. It helps in regards to traffic, but it's biggest boost is in credibility. If a BusinessWeek reporter writes about your company it gives you a virtual stamp of approval and it gives you third-party content to send to your community.
Provided you have spent time developing your community.
All that said, Peter Kafka has the memo sent around internally from BusinessWeek Publisher Keith Fox announcing the sale. It contains a rather telling line: "Online, BusinessWeek.com and Bloomberg.com will have more unique visitors than any non-portal business and financial site."
That's an interesting qualifier, because combined (assuming no overlap) the two sites trail Yahoo Finance significantly.
But for PR people and clients paying them the issue is much more tactical. Opportunities in BusinessWeek take time to develop and require quite a bit of work on behalf of both the client and the PR person. A PR person's time is what costs money. Getting a one-off hit is fine, but if you're not prepared to take advantage of that hit, then how much is it really worth to your PR and marketing campaign?