Reporters and editors love roundups, because it lets them quickly provide readers with lists of different companies providing similar offerings around a single topic, especially when that topic is timely (witness all the Covid-19 roundups lately). But PR agencies tend to dislike them, because they don’t get as much credit for a roundup placement...
As the Covid-19 crisis moves well into its second month, we've noticed a dwindling number of new story approaches to try. Roundups, with their low-payoff SOV, still rule, especially in B2B. This week did spot a few emerging approaches -- pretty much special reports -- but still providing paths for most tech companies and agencies.
[PR pro Amanda Orr writes:] Like much of the country, communications teams both in-house and at PR firms have been in a holding pattern. As we look at the Johns Hopkins tracker on a daily basis, watching the numbers of infections and fatalities climb, we knew (at least I hope most of us knew) that this wasn’t the time to send emails or make cold calls...
Last week we polled B2B contributed content gatekeepers, nearly all of whom wanted the same kinds of pitches they received before the Covid-19 nightmare. Our research echoed what we heard last month from reporters and editors.
David Strom says: "My inbox is overflowing with a virus: all Covid, all the time, with pitches and experts offered from all walks of life. It isn’t just the infosec vendors, either: I’ve gotten pitches from genealogy vendors, and how sports reporters are coping now that there are no professional games being played."
With few exceptions, contributed content gatekeepers are operating the way they always did before Covid-19 -- serving the readers who buy products, manage teams and have projects to deliver. Here's what nine of them said this week.
Last week at this time we saw strategic content from levels high above the reporter level, on "What will it take to get past this coronavirus thing?" Here's what's coming this week, and how you can get a piece of it.
Writes tech edit vet Keith Shaw: "I’ve noticed a shift, given the coronavirus outbreak, in the types of robotics and automation stories that technology media sites are pursuing. At the top of the list now are stories about robots and automation companies that offer services and software that are helping to combat the virus..."
Welcome to "What to Expect," a weekly TL;DR analysis/prediction of the tech and business media landscape in the age of coronavirus and Covid-19. Based on journalist interviews and backchannel discussions, we'll share our best advice on story shaping and pitching strategies. "What to Expect" will appear each Monday.
Writes PR pro Alex: "Hanging out with reporters is my favorite part of the week and, having done it for a while, I’ve noticed some personality types that seem to recur. Here’s a pair of some of the most colorful media personalities I’ve encountered, and tips for getting on their good side."
Journalists are leaving media brands every week. Read the fruits of 16 confidential interviews with journalists now working at tech brands or PR agencies, and five interviews with the executives who hired these journalists.