During the past year, media outlets have been inundated with coverage on COVID-19, particularly in the healthcare space. As public relations professionals, it can be difficult to craft a unique pitch around COVID-19 given this influx of coverage, but differentiation is essential for catching reporters’ attention. Below, we’ve compiled our top three tips for delivering media pitches that cut through the noise based on our recent media conversations and work with reporters.
Tip #1: Do a deep dive into previous coverage
Throughout the course of the pandemic, many publications have created COVID-19 landing pages where all related content lives. It’s important to do your due diligence in checking these landing pages for previously published content before reaching out to reporters. Without this extra step, the pitch could be seen as redundant or irrelevant and may be met with frustration. Make it clear that you did your homework and are familiar with the reporter’s work. If you show media contacts that you are paying attention to their recent content, they’re more likely to read your pitch.
Tip #2: Use sensitivity when discussing COVID-19
Despite the large amount of COVID-19 stories we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, PR professionals should be careful not to exploit the virus. Be mindful about the language being used and the topic being explored. Practical advice, positivity and stories that display empathy to readers are the goal.
When connecting with reporters in this current climate, sensitivity needs to remain front and center. We are all navigating unique and challenging circumstances, despite our day-to-day routines. Remember to check in with media from time-to-time and maintain empathy.
Tip #3: Pursue unique angles
Throughout the past year, outlets have continuously published staff-written and contributed content on their platforms related to the pandemic. Editors and readers alike are feeling COVID-19 content fatigue. To keep them engaged, consider unique and targeted story angles. Ask these questions when choosing an angle to pitch:
- What does the outlet’s audience care about?
- What has not been discussed before?
- Is there any new research to include?
Depending on the answers to these questions, you may have legs for a unique pitch that will stand out in a full inbox.
As the pandemic continues, COVID-19 will undoubtedly remain in the news. Antenna can help brands leverage the above tips to find relevance and increase the chances of their stories being told — even during a pandemic. Our team has a pulse on the ever-changing protocols and implementations related to COVID-19 and can help your internal comms team take thoughtful and purposeful steps when developing pitches and reaching out to reporters.