COVID-19 has ravaged the world disrupting economics and nearly destroying various industries, which is significantly affecting communication strategies and approaches. And the art of media relations is no exception.
What is generally coined as a public relations practitioner’s ‘bread and butter’ has once again, gone through a drastic shift, with people in this field having to understand how to participate within the media landscape in an authentic and sensitive manner.
Short lead is even shorter
With the nature of today’s pandemic, developments of the infection, and the handling of preventative measures from the government, the news media are switching stories on a dime. Newsrooms – that are already strapped for resources – are constantly having to seek out the most up-to-date information, with little insight on what they will be covering a couple of days from now. You will still see broadcasters or editors pre-plan content weeks in advance, but drastic changes in the news cycle are more common than ever.
Twitter is your best friend
Twitter has always been a source to monitor and see what the media are working on but has taken on a whole new elevation. As a result of high story volume, reporters are constantly sending out story callouts. Also, the amount of DM pitching that is occurring has increased due to this shift. But you should always assess this approach based on relationships.
The power of the testimonial
During this sensitive time, there has been a true essence of comradery, and the media are looking to hear from the voices that are most impacted by this pandemic (medical professionals, front line staff, etc.). Gone are the days where a brand can receive media attention on its offering of expertise, they must come to the table with the audience it serves and provide that third-party testimonial.
Short and sweet
Pitches should always be short, but now with media constantly on the field and the increased news volume, this is even more critical. Do not beat around the bush, get to the point immediately, as many of your media are reviewing emails on their phone. Make sure they know what story you are pitching with your subject line or they will never open your pitch.
This is by no means is an exhaustive list, but we are seeing a shift in how media prefer to consume outreach and how we, as public relations professionals, can contribute to the news cycle.
Are you looking to monopolize on the evolving media to get your brand message out there? Drop us a line.
NEXT: The Pivot – Top Hat