Free access to PR Week online

PR WeekHot on the heels of PR Week’s making available RSS feeds of much of the content of their US and UK editions, the publisher of the weekly PR industry journal is now offering free access to the complete content of PR Week US and PR Week UK online editions until the end of October.

A notice on the US site yesterday said:

Coinciding with’s relaunch, everyone will be able to access this site without needing a user name or password until October 31, 2005. On November 1, 2005, subscribers will be asked to create a password in order to gain access to articles or features on the site.

Previously, to access online content, you had to be a paid subscriber of the print edition, or register to receive free limited access. It looks like it will revert to that from November if you don’t sign up and become a paid subscriber.

An interesting move and, as the magazine says, clearly linked to the relaunch of the title. While PR Week doesn’t have serious competition from other publishers as the journal of record for the PR industry, owner Haymarket must be feeling a circulation and advertising pinch as are many other print publications, possibly more so with a title like PR Week where the vast majority of its copies are free distribution, ie, not paid for.

So perhaps this is a move to bolster paid subscriptions to the print editions by letting potential subscribers ‘taste the content’ online for free for a while. Or, set the scene for a big move in further developing the online editions.

Either way, it might work as long as the content is worth tasting.