Coronavirus: Media update 3/4/20

As the world has been changing over the past few weeks, so too has the media landscape. The pressures that are being felt in every home and industry are also being played out within news rooms and are having an impact on the different types of media we rely on for information.

To help you stay up to date with these changes, we put together the following tips and advice based on our daily interactions with the media. Bear these in mind when thinking about your own business’ marketing at this time, as things are changing so quickly that it’s important to know your voice is still getting heard and not being squashed by the weight of the coronavirus conversation.

Know the new news agenda

  • The news schedule is already very different to a few weeks ago, with a daily government press conference between 4pm and 6pm, and even the latest mortality figure updates now being significant points in the diary. Don’t contact journalists directly before or during these updates, as they won’t be paying attention
  • If you’ve got a message that connects with the coronavirus conversation then this is an ideal time to be talking to the media, however pay attention to what’s being talked about, as we’ve already seen how quickly the focus can move from key workers to new regulations to mortality rates to NHS carers to the economy and so on. If you can make the news agenda work for relevant trade publications then this is a great opportunity to communicate what you’re doing to support customers and the wider industry
  • If your message is not related to the pandemic don’t worry, as some publications are eager for content on anything but coronavirus. We’ve found this to be especially true of the trade media, which wants to keep industry and product news moving - just make sure you identify the reporter’s priorities early in the conversation

Use social media during social isolation

  • A recent report by GlobalWebIndex found that 45% of global consumers are spending more time on social media than before the pandemic, so this should be a priority communication channel for your messaging
  • While people may be out of the office, they’re still on LinkedIn. Many businesses are using this platform to communicate key updates about how they’re supporting their teams and families through the crisis. If you employ key workers, post about how you’re keeping them safe and that you’ve a responsibility to keep going at this time. Make sure all communications are clear and informative at such a challenging time

Grow your online presence

  • Websites are seeing more and more traffic while print is suffering from the fact that shops are closing, subscriptions are going to empty offices and some publications are either bundling issues together (e.g. Mix Interiors), struggling to get a slot at the printers, or cancelling them due to the pressure they’re facing. Therefore, do whatever you can to get content online, even if it’s simply regular social updates and blogs
  • Many news services in the US have removed paywalls to better share coronavirus updates. While not quite so universal, this trend has also begun in the UK, with some titles removing content restrictions on their sites. This includes:
    • Property Week has announced that it will be entirely free until the 19th April
    • The Telegraph is offering one-month free trials to “keep Britain connected during these unfamiliar times”

Pressure is mounting for more UK publishers to take the same approach, so keep an eye out for more paywalls coming down in the future

At this time there’s no substitute for talking to the media - everything is changing so quickly and there’s no way of knowing what a journalist wants and what they don’t unless you get this information first hand. We’ll keep providing more updates like this over the coming weeks to help give you the benefit of these conversations and to provide some advice for your own marketing based on these up-to-the-minute insights.

If you have any questions or would like any specific tips on how to communication through this period, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Want to grow your business, change direction, shout louder, boost your sales leads, or keep your brand out of the news? Our door is always open. If you think we can help, get in touch.

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