WATCH: Shift Strategy, Not Messaging, During Monolithic News Cycles

, Oct 16, 2020

CATEGORIES: Public Relations
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By now, we’re all far too familiar with the cliché, overused description of 2020 as the “new normal.” Not only is this phrase guaranteed to elicit a groan from reporters, PR pros, and the general public – but when it comes to summarizing the news cycle or media landscape, suggesting that we’ve arrived at some sort of predictable state of normalcy couldn’t be further from the truth.

As we continue to navigate the global pandemic and come up against a historic election in the US, tech comms and PR pros – in-house and on the agency side – can’t rest on a sense of normality. You need to accept unpredictability as the standard and be willing to adapt accordingly. While PR best practice has always called for tech comms teams to adapt and shift strategies in the context of the larger news cycle, recent events have shown that the media landscape is changing.

In many cases, reporters across publication segments – ranging from business press to trades – are covering national news stories like COVID-19 and the election with a heightened focus, making the competition even more fierce when it comes to getting your company’s message out there.

The good news is that opportunities for effective comms are still out there… but you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to evaluate the stories you’re telling, your audience’s appetite for those stories, and the tactics and channels where you’ll share them – all within the context of constant change.

Whether you develop a media campaign to tie into a breaking news story, or decide to double down on business-as-usual messaging via owned content and social, the key is to keep it authentic to who you are at your core, and never deviate from your big-picture objectives.

This is something we’ve spent a lot of time talking about in recent months, with clients and internally. Regardless of whether you’re in health IT, cybersecurity, enterprise software or artificial intelligence, you need to be thoughtful in planning your comms strategy in a way that will achieve your objectives, while considering the likelihood that unpredictable events may require a new approach from the tried-and-true best practices you’re used to.

I sat down with March Senior Account Executive Tom Korolyshun to talk about how we’re approaching these shifts with clients, and the considerations companies need to take to ensure effective comms in 2020 and beyond. Check out the video for more thoughts. And if you have an upcoming launch, announcement, or comms campaign that you need to cut through the noise, get in touch to start shaping your strategy and story.

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