The world has been flipped upside down in the face of COVID-19, and as for a marketing and communications agency servicing national and international clients, we’ve had to adapt swiftly to the drastically changing media landscape in recent months.
A recent webinar, ‘Media in the New Normal of COVID-19’ hosted by the Public Relations Institute of Australia, was attended by P4 Group’s Senior Account Manager, Gabrielle Quinn and Account Executive, Jemma Davies.
Here they shared their key learning from the insightful webinar. Masterfully hosted by Brian Olson, Director at Blend Public Relations, we gained valuable insights from Erin Bouda – Supervising Producer at Weekend TODAY Show Australia, Aleks Vickovich – Wealth Editor at the Australian Financial Review (AFR) and Michelle Stephenson – National News Director at NOVA Entertainment & Smooth FM.
As with most employees around the world, working from the office may seem like a distant memory. The entire AFR team went from working in the office to working from home almost overnight.
Lead times have significantly reduced across all platforms, allowing journalists and reporters to stay nimble, which in turn allows them to quickly adapt to the ever-changing situation. Interestingly, journalists would rather know what content you have now instead of waiting for your story to be packaged with a bow.
Now more than ever concise, attention grabbing snippets need to lead pitches by PR professionals. Don’t bother sending bulky emails with several ideas and statistics, they are too time poor.
Switch your mindset – what is the juiciest or most news-worthy angle? That’s what they want to hear, and PRs must be willing to mould the story with the journalist to secure the coverage.
Timing is everything – when offering company spokespeople or industry experts, a major drawcard is to share existing media coverage, commentary or interviews with the journalists to demonstrate their expertise and how they come across on film.
Having faced one of the fiercest bushfire seasons during the summer months, followed by floods in many parts of the eastern seaboard, Australians and Australian companies are continuing to stare down the barrel of a tough year.It may be challengingto think about positives that have resulted from COVID-19, but the panel of experts approached the pandemic with a half-glass-full approach and shared the below takeaways:
The need to be on the front foot during a pandemic is critical. While many could not have predicted or expected what Australia and the rest of the world continue to experience, a magnifying glass has been cast on the public relations and communications industries.
If you are launching a COVID-19 podcast now – you are two months too late and that boat has already sailed. The focus is now on the road to recovery in Australia - see Episode 4 of #AskP4 Live here – and businesses need to start communicating in line with this. The trust in news provided by the print sector appears to have been regained, with the emerging trend in ‘click bait’ headlines seen in the last three to five years finally plateauing out.
At the time of writing this, Australia is (hopefully!) emerging out of COVID-19 and journalists are already searching for post-pandemic headlines… home schooling angles are now considered ‘has beens’ and journalists are on the hunt for back-to-work, back-to-school and, soon, back-to-normal features.
As many have encountered, not having the ‘think tank hub’ of collective and creative brains has certainly been missed while working in isolation. However, the impressive array of technology on offer has allowed most to continue working effectively from home, whilst also introducing us to platforms that will remain vital as we move towards the new normal.
If you want to learn more about how your business can use marketing and communications to put their best foot forward, post-pandemic, contact Sarah Broad – email@example.com.