We’ve been spoiled. Ever since CNN made a name for itself 25 years ago with live, round-the-clock coverage of the Gulf War, both journalists and public relations pros alike have benefitted greatly from the 24-hour news cycle. It ushered in a brand new era in media. Like life, however, eras change. Now we have the same 24/7 access, but more to cover with less journalists, less space in newspapers, less time on news channels, and, thusly, less chances for PR pros to get brand and business messages across.
Welcome to the new world of news cycles. And if you’re looking to do well for your clients, you better get a grasp on it now. Between the pandemic, a presidential election, wildfires and social unrest, among others, the country’s media is taking on more than it can already handle and PR pros are jockeying for space, looking for an opening.
This is where a savvy public relations guru is needed, to understand that regular media coverage models have gone out the window in 2020 – especially because of the pandemic. For instance, journalists have been on the story since January but the dynamic has rarely changed from reporting on new cases, number of deaths, outbreaks in hot spots, differing opinions on masks and lockdowns, the quest for a vaccine, and its tremendous effect on the economy.
What they wouldn’t give to find an uplifting success story amidst the pandemic. Journalists are still going to do the major stories; where PR pros come in handy is finessing a related, secondary story. This can be anything from understanding when to pitch a story itself to when to pitch a resource, such as a client who is a CEO or CFO that can develop into strong source for a reporter. Diversity is also critical to reporters at the moment as media outlets across the country struggle to make their newsrooms – and their content – more reflective of the community they are covering. That makes it incumbent on PR specialists to truly know their client and to find out who else in the company might be a better to pitch as an expert source than a traditional CEO.
And that is where public relations firms are expected to shine and use their expertise. More than 40,000 employees at media outlets across the country have been either laid off, furloughed, or had their pay cut. At the risk of sounding cliché, PR pros need to think outside the box – or, rather, think outside the daily editorial planning meeting – and cut through the clutter of how journalists are reporting and eventually writing the same story.
Nobody has a bigger scissors for that than Media Maison. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a true assessment of how to navigate the new world of news cycles and actually get a placement.