Pitching to Media During COVID-19
- Dec 02, 2020
- By Sara Myers
2020 has been a year like no other. As we are living through history, practically everything you can imagine has changed, including media relations. COVID-19 has changed the way we run our public relations agency, the pitches we send out, the content we create, and the topics we choose to focus on. As the times have shifted and audiences’ interests have changed, we’ve got some tips for conducting media relations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Be Informed & Empathetic
Be aware of the times. When crafting pitches and new ideas, be sure to not seem tone deaf. With the ongoing pandemic, rise in Black Lives Matter movement, tension surrounding the election, and more, it is imperative that you are cognizant of what is going on in our world and show concern for peoples’ emotions in these highly sensitive times. Make sure to also be practical in what people want to see. No one is planning vacations, no one is going out to bars, and no one is planning parties, so make sure to stray away from topics as such. Don’t expect editors to gravitate towards that content when that is not what people currently want to see.
Provide Real Value
This relates to the last point: aim to provide readers with actual value with your information. Do not present your words and ideas in a way that can be taken as disingenuous or ignorant. As we are constantly being inundated with so much information, be sure to make yourself stand out by delivering genuine pieces and real value that people can take with them after reading and viewing. Remember: value brings back viewers.
Brainstorm New Perspectives
As you’ve probably noticed, content with a pandemic theme can get overdone. Challenge yourself to find a fresh perspective on the next topic you’re writing about. Do your research and seek out angles that may not have been taken, but are still newsworthy. That way, they catch peoples’ attention and will easily gain traction if it’s fresh and creative.
Know Your Audience
Last but not least, make sure you know to whom you are pitching. Pitching a beauty article to someone that primarily covers business news is an amateur mistake, but unfortunately, it still happens. Before you send out a pitch or add a new writer to your media list, browse the recent articles they’ve written. A lot of the times, a brand will see an article a writer wrote back in 2015, and since then they have completely changed beats (sometimes even careers) so they are not a relevant contact anymore. Personalize your pitch to each editor as well, mentioning prior pieces they’ve done or topics they’ve covered. It’s personal and shows your genuine interest in the writer.
Hope these quick tips help you out when conducting media relations during COVID-19. For more guidance in media relations from our public relations agency, check out our latest post “How to Make Your News Actually ‘Newsworthy’” here.
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