Beyond the press release
Recently, we read in a report by our colleagues at Brands2Life, the UK branch of the global PR and communications agency network to which Canela belongs, that the national media in the UK has decreased exponentially in its coverage of brand-related stories. The report states that “the total number of articles published by the UK’s top-tier media has fallen by 20% in the last five years, and the number of articles in which brands feature prominently has also fallen by more than a third”.
Although the Spanish media landscape differs in form and content with respect to the British one, at Canela we analyse the reality that we experience on a daily basis in our work as a communications agency. It is a fact that brands have to be more and more creative in order to appear in the media organically.
If the press was already suffering with the arrival of free digital media, in recent years the economic consequences of the pandemic have made the situation even worse. Since March 2020, there has been a significant drop in advertising revenue in the media, which has led to layoffs in the editorial offices and even the closure of some titles. On the other hand, some media outlets have opted for paywalls, reducing the number of news items published daily and opting for the “less is more” approach.
Faced with this panorama, firstly, we must be aware that the media need investment and that branded content strategies are positive both for brand positioning and for the media to survive. Secondly, it is a reality that communication strategies based exclusively on sending mass press releases no longer work. With fewer journalists in newsrooms, but the same level of information to cover, the media need personalised and exclusive content. And this is where creativity comes into the picture: how to stand out and offer the media what they really need while at the same time getting your brand messages across?
Here are 6 things to keep in mind to capture the media’s attention!
Press releases yes, but with relevant data
What are the topics that really matter to us? Mental health, climate change, wellbeing, price trends, the future of work… These are just some of the hot topics that are currently in the media, but which could die out in the coming weeks. To take advantage of the moment, we must be very aware of the trends and be agile when it comes to joining the conversation with content that provides data that offers added value.
Making the most of design to "sell" ourselves better
Design is fundamental in all aspects of life and for this reason we must use it to capture the attention of journalists as well. A good design can also explain a reality better than a simple written content, infographics or graphics with data and comparisons will always offer that informative value and differentiation that information professionals seek so much.
Exclusivity is increasingly in demand by the media. In the USA, it is common to work with exclusives and we are finding that this model is increasingly in demand in our country. Taking into account the current media situation, it is much better to opt for quality impacts rather than quantity.
Opinion articles to position company spokespersons
Opinion articles are certainly not for all types of media but, depending on the sector, they can be very attractive. What is important is that the subject matter is up-to-date, that there is an in-depth reflection on the topic and, above all, that the company itself is never, under any circumstances, directly mentioned in the article for commercial purposes. The aim of these articles is to showcase the company’s expertise in its sector. The trend in this case is also very much towards exclusivity.
Let them try your products
If the company offers products or services, why not give journalists the opportunity to try them first hand? Through a seeding or review programme, unique reports are obtained as they are based on the journalist’s own experience, which gives the piece greater credibility. Again, we choose quality over quantity.
Let the brand's voice be heard in its own podcast
In the age of podcasts, there is also room for those created by companies and institutions. Mahou and Primavera Sound are some of the brands that have already created their own platforms where they can give free rein to transmit their messages. This is a tool for communicating in a personal way and humanising the company and its spokespersons.
There are many tools for appearing organically in the media, but what is clear is that the most successful at present are those that combine creativity, personalisation and exclusivity. Why not go beyond the conventional press release?