What was one predictable year...
The media and publishing cycle was once smooth and relatively predictable. But then 2020 happened. Features schedules were thrown out the window, more and more publications went online as advertisers pulled out of their scheduled print promotions and the publishing world as we knew it had to think on its feet and, as with the rest of the world…pivot.
Journalists, media houses, bloggers, broadcasters and us – the media PR agencies, all went through a journey of trial and error. Understanding what the nation wanted and needed to see, hear and read, whilst staying on-top of the ever-changing Government announcements meant a great deal of time and energy was spent in re-inventing the wheel for many outlets.
Deep into the pandemic timeline now, the industry has well and truly found its feet in navigating this world. While none of us can be certain of what the future holds, we are now confident in understanding the best and more authentic way to continue to deliver brand new and captivating stories to our audiences.
A new media landscape in 2021
One thing we can be certain of this year, is that the news cycle will continue to be driven by the impact of Coronavirus, and that’s not just the news desks. Health, luxury, lifestyle, food and drink, travel, beauty and interiors are all going to continue being driven by the Covid-19 agenda. But what exactly does this look like and what does it mean for brands?
Navigating and working your way through the new media landscape means understanding how your brand fits into the wider conversation of the pandemic.
Understanding your consumer value and competitive advantage
As always, and more now than ever, your brand news and messaging will really need to break through all the noise and competition being syndicated to media so, understating your consumer value and competitive edge should be a key driving force when strategising.
Could it be, providing an escapism from the world of Covid-19 through a new celebrity-led meditation platform, or is it bringing the taste of travel to your consumer audience through a new limited edition home meal chef collaboration? Is it offering current industry perspective and business clarity to colleagues and fellow industry players through a well-placed piece of thought leadership communication in a leading trade title? Or is offering financial, mental or physical support to the front-line workers or vulnerable parents during this turbulent time?
Figuring out how your brand’s voice can not only be heard but stay relevant during these times, while serving a purpose beyond financial gain, will be crucial in allowing you to become a part of the conversation.
How to master media timings and deadlines
Currently, editorial schedules and timelines for mid to long-lead media will remain the same, meaning brands must ensure they have their assets and messaging ready to share at least a few weeks prior to the expected feature date (and a few months for those longer lead glossies). This means, that as no one knows what the news agenda will be in one – three months’ time, your story must be one that can stand the test of time and stay relevant. Difficult in such times we know – but all extremely do-able, especially when working with an experienced comms and PR team who are able to craft your communications to suit this necessity.
Shorter lead media such as daily newspapers and digital platforms are naturally able to update and go live with their features, news pieces and bulletins almost immediately and so, you and your brand must be quick to follow and react to how the news is affecting your brand and update the media accordingly. It also means, in the fast-changing pace of change, you need to ensure your news is up-to-the-minute current, and not yesterday’s news.
How to stay on top of the news cycle for your brand comms
The best way to stay on top of it all, is to do all you can to further understand the working ways of the media. Across our team, we stay up to date on all editorial changes being made in publishing houses as they happen. National, regional and even niche newspapers are read religiously along with following and noting all story developments within broadcast and online media.
Which journalist is writing what, how the tone has changed from one day to the next, and what quotes and insights are members of the media in need of are all crucial insights allowing us to create the most effective, relevant and beneficial PR and communication strategies for our clients.
For more information on how we can help your brand break through the noise, stay relevant and tell your story in an honest and authentic way.