A lot has certainly changed this past year, but change is something public relations professionals are accustomed to. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve embraced change for the better by continuing to share compelling and positive stories that bring people together, to keep consumers engaged and connected with their favourite brands.
While many companies have had to rethink their business operations and adapt to the changes, we too have been looking back at the effects this pandemic has had on PR. Each year, we see more media outlets closing their doors and editorial teams being downsized. To no surprise, this has led to a ripple effect on our industry. While newsrooms may be shrinking, there’s no shortage of stories to share. And so, the important question remains: how do we continue to tell important stories and have them break through all the noise?
There’s no single answer to this question. But by taking a deeper look at the current media landscape to get a better understanding of what we can do as communicators to get our message out there, we developed a few pointers to help ensure you’re successfully pitching your story in today’s new world:
Remember that fewer journalists are producing more content
Be mindful that your pitch isn’t the only one hitting their inbox that day. As media do more with less staff, PR must seize every opportunity to help reporters do their jobs. Strong pitches and relationships with press are more important than ever.
Keep health and safety at top of mind
The pandemic has changed what is considered newsworthy, and COVID-19 still owns the front page. It has also resulted in an attitudinal shift among journalists who expect their own safety to remain paramount. So, the next time you’re sending out a pitch be mindful of whether you’re jeopardizing someone’s safety for a quick win.
There are greater opportunities for integrated programs
Ad revenue has continued to decline, forcing news outlets to boost their focus on sponsored content as a revenue stream. Keep this in mind when trying to cast a wider net.
The past year has shown that product-focused PR efforts have taken a back seat to information that’s truly helpful. Activities and narratives that put people’s current needs and concerns first are more likely to garner media favour.