2021 roared in with a frenetic news pace, the national zeitgeist in roller coaster mode, and an increasingly challenging landscape for those of us tasked with earning media coverage on behalf of our clients. But while the task at hand can feel daunting, there are some tried-and-true tactics (as well as some 2020 newbies) that can help. With tenacity, creativity and a nimble approach, we’ve been finding success for our clients in categories ranging from consumer lifestyle to design and the arts to even healthcare. Here’s how:
- Create Something Special -- Media have been cooped up at home, are inundated with pitches, and have a miles-long to-do list. Media launch events - long a mainstay for relationship building and brand education - have been put on hold. But the concept of creating an experience that truly goes above and beyond is still a major opportunity to ensure that you’re cutting through the noise and making a memorable impact. With creativity and great logistical planning, these types of experiences can really deliver.
- Leverage The Return of “Must See TV” -- Despite the media landscape becoming more and more fragmented, our time in quarantine has brought us back together again in front of trending home entertainment. Between the Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton (now Netflix’s most watched show ever), new “must watch” shows are capturing attention and headlines. We’ve used this to our clients’ advantage with round-up pitches on everything from Mid-Century inspired furniture and chess board patterns to Regency era jewelry -- all generating great coverage. Keeping a finger on the pulse of trending entertainment and drafting fast-cycle pitches to make morning after deadlines are key to success here.
- Tackle Hot Button Issues -- With much of the country preoccupied with COVID, vaccinations, the political landscape and more, many have the tendency to shrink back from the conversation, or try to interject in inappropriate ways. Both of which can backfire. Finding the right balance of how and where your brand can have a voice - and do so in an authentic way - is critical. Whether it’s in providing a much-needed escape, sharing a valuable perspective, creating a new product or service, or repositioning your story, with good strategy, there are many ways to do it right.
- Combat Zoom Fatigue -- Like all of us, media are tethered to their computers and devices now more than ever. Cutbacks at major publishing houses have editors stretched thin and time in the day is scarce. Finding small ways to make things easier for them can go a long way. For example, rather than hosting large-format “announcement” style virtual presentations, we’ve cut back presentations to 20 minutes and given media flexibility about when to attend. The media (and their calendars!) have thanked us.