The world is at the grip of COVID-19 and the media is scrambling to find credible experts to make sense of everything. How does this apply to you? It’s an opportunity for you or your company to truly make a difference.😷
Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. If you’re like me, your inbox is full of “special offers,” and you feel the difference between those committed to making a difference and those being opportunistic. Now is not the time to line our pockets. It’s a time to turn to the business at hand: humanity. In order to truly make a difference, you need to know how the media works and the best way to support them.
Breaking news is tricky. The news cycle is shortened, and you need to be ready to rock when the media comes knocking. There’s no question about what dominates our global news now. And for us, like everyone, it’s not business as usual.💡
Every day our team is rewriting pitches and press releases as the pandemic evolves. The press is so thirsty for COVID-19 stories, turnaround time is intense. Our typical 24-hour news cycle has turned into a 6- to 12-hour news cycle. For example, our financial clients are providing us tips about not panicking or how to teach children about money while housebound. We are quickly getting these out to our press contacts who are feverishly looking for industry and lifestyle angles like these. Our doctors, therapists and health experts are talking about how to strengthen immunity, work out at home and remain calm (and clean) in the midst of chaos. A client was asked to write communication tips on how to speak powerfully to sick loved ones who are either ill with coronavirus or have existing health conditions that may be worsened by being cooped up at home. Relationship and dating press are thirsty for tips on how to get along when bored or broke.
We’ve never seen the turnaround on content required currently by news-makers. Do you have a message around COVID-19 that would make a difference and support people? Here are some key things to remember when preparing your breaking news pitch:
- Make sure the media knows how to contact you.💡
You’ve done all the work to make a difference; don’t drop the ball at the goal line. Think like the journalist you’re pitching, and make it easy for them to connect with you, however they prefer.
- Be prepared for virtual interviews.🤓
TV interviews are rapidly changing now as we implement social distancing. You know the old saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Doing virtual interviews can be tricky. Practice before the media contacts you.
- Make sure your technology is ready to go.🎙️
If you’re doing a TV or online interview via Zoom or Skype, ensure you have a stable connection and good lighting and sound. In order to deliver your message powerfully, you need your audience to see your smiling face!
- Give the media everything they need.📰
The best way to make a difference with your media contacts who are currently dealing with insane timelines is to make sure they have everything they need, even before they ask. We believe the best way to do that is to provide them with a link to a well-thought-out, organized online press kit.
- Be ready to dance.💃🏽
In this ever-changing pandemic landscape, be prepared to talk about anything. Make sure you’re media trained ahead of time to deliver an amazing interview so the next time that journalist needs a go-to resource, you’re the first person they call.
During this time, you need to put yourself in the media’s shoes. They are working under extremely tight deadlines, and anything you can do to help them meet those challenges will ultimately make the difference. Give them what they need when they need it, and be their partner to look for solutions. Come from a place of serving them — not the other way around! We all know the saying, “The small things make the biggest difference.” This moment in history is your opportunity to make a big difference. 😇