New times, new ways of interacting with journalists and influencers

20 May 2021, By Canela

As in so many other aspects, the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of relationships between brands and agencies, on the one hand, and the media, journalist and influencers on the other. Trends in public relations we think will be consolidated in 2021. Massive press conferences, routine events or the massive sending of press releases are outdated. Do you want to know which new ways of interacting with the media are here to stay?

From sending to sharing press releases

One of the usual and best-known functions of communication agencies is sending press releases to the media. Traditionally, the dissemination of press releases was a one-way process: the agency selected a list of recipients, sent them the information, and then followed up to see if they published the news or content. However, we are now evolving into a two-way approach: the agency, or the brand, shares the information on the internet and journalists, bloggers and influencers access it when and where they want. In this new way of working, brands’ press departments become relevant; where a complete media kit must be offered (press releases, corporate profile, images of the facilities and products, biographies of the spokesperson, etc.) so those people who need information can have access to it at any time of the day. Press release portals such as Bhalia are increasingly used, where in addition to publishing press releases, opinion articles and other brand content are available.

From massive events to exclusive events

Events have inevitably changed since the arrival of the pandemic, being more virtual than ever, even though we see brands and agencies timidly going back to on-site events. Even though virtual events have not stopped since March 2020, the trend is evolving towards much smaller, exclusive events, more spaced in time than before the pandemic. For example, instead of summoning all the media every quarter to announce their news, a tech company can organize a leisure event such as a showcooking or a masterclass with a select group of experts and influencers (always with the appropriate security measures that marks the pandemic. This allows establishing a more personalized relationship between the brand and its prescribers that, although it does not translate into immediate coverage, can be beneficial in the medium and long term.


From sourcing to expert platforms

Another traditional way of reaching the media is to position companies’ spokespeople as experts in their field and try to get journalists to consider them as reliable sources for their stories. This required a thorough work of media visits, opinion articles placement, interview management, etc., which took quite a bit of time away from them. On their behalf, journalists did not always have quick access to the experts and sources they needed, because companies were often slow to respond to their requests. Nowadays, accessing these sources is much easier thanks to platforms such as Reportaro in Spanish or Help a Reporter in English. On these sites, company spokespersons can register as experts in their disciplines and make themselves available to journalists to contribute as sources on their stories (and thus gain visibility). For agencies, these home pages also help us find new editorial opportunities that allow spokespeople of the brands we represent to appear on the media.

From standard content to custom content

As we have seen, public relations in the post-pandemic era are marked by being two-way, virtual and exclusive. This also extends to content, which is more personalized, depending on the journalist or influencer receiving it. New formats are being explored, such as content pills, images, info graphics, micro videos, animations, podcasts, GIFs, memes… In this way, both content and form point towards the personalization of content. Based on the messages and materials provides by the brand, each communicator can tell their own story adapted to the public, type of media and the context in which they work.

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