PR pros are adjusting their media plans in an environment consumed by coronavirus coverage so they don’t appear tone-deaf, avoiding anything overly commercial or promotional.
A private Facebook page shows that some are resorting to unusual methods to get the attention of journalists.
Others are narrowly focusing on stories they think would be helpful to readers during the crisis, such as health and wellness products and delivery apps, including Grubhub.
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The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the public relations industry to find new ways to pitch stories to journalists in a news cycle dominated by the outbreak.
The relationship between journalism and PR has always been complicated, and the coronavirus crisis may lodge yet another chapter in this long history. Twitter is littered with tweets from journalists criticizing the pitches they’ve received.
If you work in PR, please think twice before sending a cringe-worthy coronavirus pitch like this: pic.twitter.com/fDvl11TP1r
— Emily Mullin (@emilylmullin) March 10, 2020
Not wanting to come across as tone deaf, PR pros say they’re treading lightly around journalists, avoiding anything that seems inappropriate.
“The thing to out for: don’t sell or be opportunistic,” said Margo Schneider, SVP and MD of media relations at M Booth. “Ambulance chasing won’t be well-received right now. No, I don’t think that eye cream will relieve my stress.”
One of the largest PR firms in the world, Weber Shandwick, advised staffers to treat journalists “like the people they are,” according to a memo obtained by Business Insider.
“It’s a fine line we’ll need to walk as brand marketers and communicators,” said Shawn McBride, EVP of the sports practice for Ketchum Sports and Entertainment. “How are we going to continue or be able to engage with consumers, with fans, in a manner that is sensitive but also ultimately starts to …read more
Source:: Business Insider