COVID-19, Coronavirus, Corona there are so many names – however you refer to it, there’s no denying that it’s dominating our news cycle, our conversations, our way of living, and how we communicate with media. It’s changed the media landscape as we know it, and they too, just like communication professionals have had to pivot their day to day in order to respond to a ‘new world’.
Something that hasn’t changed though, is the needs of the journalists and their audiences. The media circle will always crave trusted information that is clear, compelling, and consistent. They want stories that speak true to the current climate without contributing to the often alarmist doom and gloom news agenda.
Whilst we respect that not all sectors can do this, now is not the time to shut up shop, stop pitching, or stop conversations. It’s everything but. Here, we share our top tips to aid you in these times of uncertainty, and help you achieve the wins that all brands deserve:
Ask – Don’t Tell.
Journos are finding their way, just as we are. Many have had their columns suspended, reduced, or even reassigned. Check-in with them just like you would your friends, family, and colleagues to not only see how they’re doing but ASK how you can help rather than pitching without a cause. Ask them what they’re working on, if they need expert commentary, or insights into how your clients are evolving. Trust us, this will be remembered in the months and years to come. Help them reach a solution.
Remember: Not All Journalists Publish ‘Hard News’
The news cycle can’t and won’t be wall to wall COVID-19 coverage. Already, we are hearing on social platforms that consumers are fatigued from the topic which is why an appetite remains for lighthearted, feel-good stories. Stories that encourage positivity and bridge the gap between DC (during Coronavirus) and BC (before Coronavirus) – rather than go quiet because your client is affected, conduct an audit and pull out the stories that allow you to make more noise.
Acknowledge the Situation
No one is immune from this – we’re all affected in one way or another so it’s important to be sensitive to that and remember that we’re all human and we’re all adjusting to our new normal. So, acknowledge the situation. It’s that simple. Acknowledge that while your pitch may not be suitable right now, you think it would work for their upcoming issue due to be released in September. Acknowledge that there’s limited space for conversation, but your pitch is the one that’s most relevant.
And lastly, remember that this isn’t forever. It’s simply a bump in the road, and reprieve is around the corner. For now, pivot aggressively and adopt change, or risk being left behind. If you’re not marketing your brand, it’s likely your competitors are.
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