by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications
Let’s face it: Due to Covid-19, things have changed dramatically over the last few months. While remote work and social distancing are on the rise, many business professionals are wondering how the “new normal” is going to influence media relations.
Successfully navigating the rapidly-changing media landscape is no easy feat. What’s more, in the pandemic era, PR professionals are not only facing the challenge of telling their clients’ stories in a compelling way, but also conveying their messages at a time when most media outlets are furloughing, laying off or shutting down for good.
In the midst of all this, the media landscape continues to evolve. So here are some of the biggest trends and changes every marketing-savvy business professional should be aware of, in order to adjust their approach and move forward.
1.Long articles may be “dead”. At least for now…
As you know, these days the news is changing at breakneck speed; journalists are no longer investing a great deal of time on long articles. If they don’t publish the story fast enough, more likely than not the news will be totally different the following day. With hot topics, PR professionals should connect with clients at the beginning of the week to understand how flexible their days are and the best way to reach them.
2. Newsletters are on the rise
Covid-19 may be impacting ad sales, however, subscription newsletters are a whole different story. Interestingly, many reporters are leaving newsrooms for newsletters creating their own “mini-media empires”. In fact, there is a growing number of writers gravitating to Substack and other newsletter platforms – a trend that has rapidly accelerated as the coronavirus recession continues to wreak havoc on the news industry. So, in the grand scheme of things, does this affect the media? Yes, it does! Newsletters allow for either reaching a more targeted audience or amplification. Either way, it’s a win-win formula for media relations professionals.
3.Nationwide coverage has become a reality for many businesses
Prior to the pandemic, chances of regular national TV appearances were slim to none (unless you are headquartered in a major media market). Producers and hosts wanted guests in-studio, as much as possible. That was the fact of life not long ago. Now, most interviews are remote allowing for companies from all over the U.S. to have an equal chance at being on shows.
4.Provide your own photos or videos
It’s important to keep in mind that high quality images or b-rolls are crucial for reporters and producers. It used to be easy for them to acquire their own photos, but now many media outlets are reluctant to put their employees at risk. Therefore, journalists are more likely to accept images directly from their interview sources, as long as they are high quality and strike tone during Covid-19. Of course some outlets might still send out a photographer, but you need to be a partner on keeping everyone involved safe.
5. Follow-up phone calls matter. Still…
Some media relations folks maintain that phone pitching to reporters is dead. Really?? While some journalists prefer an email, many others appreciate a follow up call. That being said, most journalists are working from home right now and will continue to work remotely for the indefinite future. It means there is no office line. Of course some of them may have that line forwarded, but that can’t be counted on. In any event, you increase your chances of success by using a phone as a potent tool to connect, follow up and build solid relationships with reporters.
By the way, how have YOU seen the media landscape shifting since the beginning of COVID-19? Feel free to share your thoughts with me.
If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to helping you grow.