Changing media needs during COVID19

July 03, 2020

From Zoom wine tasting sessions, to PR webinar briefings, and the shift from hard news to inspiration, the media landscape has recently never changed so drastically in the span of 100 days. During the uncertainties that COVID-19 has caused, the team at Siren Comms has been keeping our clients, partners and friends within the industry updated on what changes and developments have occurred within the media landscape. This time has been a crucial moment in our business to strengthen media relationships with journalists while communicating our clients’ messages and updates as well as supporting them in their own survival and revival. Here's how the news became our best friends and our insights into the shifting landscape.


Media reactions to the start of COVID-19

As the coronavirus started to become a stark reality for the UK, the immediate priority for media was hard news and updates. Citizens and travellers across the nation turned to the news more than ever to stay updated on their rapidly changing rights, freedom of movement and sharing of knowledge regarding health concerns and risks. As always, the news platforms felt the responsibility of reporting honestly, quickly and with authority. This wasn’t a crucial time to ensure they kept their existing viewers, listeners and followers engaged but it was an opportunity to secure loyalty from new sectors of business and consumer audiences.


A few weeks on – media share practical lockdown tips


Following the highly anticipated official announcement from PM Boris Johnson that the nation had to officially go into lockdown, journalists across all sectors and spectrums offered their audience practical and important information about how to get organised for this time.


They shared near constant updates on how and when you can get shopping delivery slots, what priorities do key workers and those in most need get, what does this lockdown mean for children and schools, for those at most risk of infection, what happens to your booked holidays and what rights do workers have. Again, the media were there holding our hands and guiding us through another phase of new learnings and uncertainties.

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Consumers eager for inspiration from the media


How to not drive your husband mad, how to teach your kids to play the violin, how to armchair travel and how to bake without flour are just some of the help and inspiration millions at home turned to the media for. Some of it was fun, some of it practical and some of touching. A new phase among the news and media began with a much more light-hearted feel to it and, oh, was it welcomed. This was the start of a stronger and more meaningful relationship between news platform and follower.


Many members of the media were asked to set aside their usual columns and areas of focus to explore new territories, meet new ranges of deadlines and engage with their audience in a refreshed way. As the world focused in on coming together, supporting each other in as many ways as possible and working towards a common goal, audiences also became more welcoming and forgiving to the media.


The sometimes awkwardness of a journalists reporting and exploring new grounds was welcomed with humour by those listening, reading and following. After all, these were simply beautiful reflections of the difficulties every single person across the nation also felt. The media became our best and most frequently visited friends.


Back to hard news


Today, as some boarders open, others close, pubs open yet individual towns and cities go back into lockdown, the public has shifted its need for inspiration back to hard news as the future of reaching chosen travel destinations, job security and the economic impact is heightened. And once again, the media has shifted its focus to accommodate.


Facts on travel, airlines, tour operators, independent food and drink producers are reported on an hourly basis. The news now continues to be a treasured friend, and a trusted one at that. As we prepare for this next phase of COVID-19, we hope for the previous phase of inspiration to return and translate into action of returning to work safely, going on holidays and hugging as many friends, families and colleagues as possible.



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