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Communicating through the Coronavirus

Even though we’re heading towards the end of the third week since the official launch of the lockdown, it’s evident the status quo is changing every day. This week has seen several important changes to key publishers and the media’s approach to the crisis, all of which it is important to be aware of in order to make the right marketing and PR decisions at this time.

Below you’ll find a roundup of this week’s media news as well as insights from our members, Refresh PR, and its interactions with journalists across national, regional and trade media titles to give you the benefit of the conversations that it is having every day.

  • Publications furloughing staff
    1. Like many businesses, publishers are having to take the difficult decision to furlough members of staff. This week Reach PLC announced it’s putting a fifth of its staff on furlough. This will obviously have many knock-on effects on its titles, which include the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Mirror, and could impact how you should contact news outlets with your stories. For example, while breaking news teams are likely to be kept, non-essential desks might be empty.
    2. National and large regional outlets may just be furloughing specific departments in order to keep the larger publication running, but some titles across a number of different trades and regions have furloughed most, or all, of their staff. If you have long standing relationships with a specific publication or are expecting upcoming coverage, get in touch to check whether its team has been affected and if so what this means for your marketing efforts (check to see if there has been a statement  released like this one from netmag media).


  • This week’s popular angles
    1. Journalists are becoming increasingly interested in how businesses have pivoted their business models to deal with Coronavirus. If, as a business, you’ve made significant changes to adapt then there’s a good chance that someone will be interested. Titles are likely to move towards this type of “solutions” based story over time in order to avoid consistently negative headlines.   
    2. Some journalists are already starting to look at what the world is going to be like once all this is over, which means that “future gazing” content could prove popular. This is something that you can see a lot in the property media, with articles exploring what the housing market might look like and how buyers/sellers can benefit.
    3. There’s a lot of calls in the national media for experts to get in touch if they can cover a relevant topic, potentially due to the fact we’re all facing so many new challenges (let alone a new virus) that journalists are struggling to find the knowledge they need. This could explain why less trade titles are asking for this sort of content, as they tend to know their one sector very well rather than having to cover lots of different topics like a national title does.


With a bank holiday looming don’t forget to adjust your marketing plans accordingly and keep an eye on the news agenda, as a lot can change in just a few hours right now – never mind over the course of four days.

That’s just a snapshot of our weekly media insights but if you have any questions or would like any specific tips on how to communication through this period, don’t hesitate to get in touch –

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