This is the fifth in our series of Bite Sized Covid Media Tips, designed to help you get thinking about the best way to get your business in front of the national media at this time.
Like every business, the business of media has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with reporters and editorial teams working remotely and many on furlough; editions slim-lined to save costs and “normal” coverage put back on the shelf in preference for more news style coverage related to the pandemic. Volpa has been keeping up to date with those changes as they have happened and we are sharing our knowledge in a series of Bite Sized Covid Media Tips, because while it is still possible to generate media coverage at this time, businesses need to be aware of what editors are looking for, now more than ever.
Here’s just a bite sized briefing from a recent exclusive international webcast we attended with Ruth Sutherland, business editor at the Daily Mail, on what changes have taken place since this crisis began and what kind of stories they are looking for now, and in the future. In 2020, the Daily Mail has eclipsed The Sun to become the best-selling newspaper in the UK.
Ruth Sutherland’s insight and top tips
- Currently Ruth is having the business team’s morning conference call at 10.15am where they decided what is going to feature in the business pages. This is followed by the main news conference at 11am and swiftly followed by the leader conference. At 3.15pm they host a city conference in which the running order of the paper is decided, along with the lead story for the next day.
- The new editor, Geordie Grieg, believes that business news should form part of the broader conversation. Since he has come on board more business stories have run at the front of the paper. Ruth packages business stories up so they have a broader appeal.
- The Daily Mail and the Mail online run as separate entities, though all newspaper copy is put online around 10pm.
- The launch of Mail Plus, the digital edition of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, has been hugely successful. Ruth takes part in a video business bulletin on this platform in which she discusses the story of the day with Alex Brummer, city editor. This is called ‘Strictly Business’. Subscriptions to Mail Plus have grown strongly through the pandemic. Going forward there will be opportunities for business leaders to be profiled on ‘Strictly Business’.
- Going forward, Ruth is interested in stories regarding:
- Significant job cuts/losses for firms due to the pandemic
- Positive actions businesses have taken to protect jobs and get through this pandemic unscathed
- Retraining and reskilling for future jobs
- Pharmaceutical companies (who Ruth believes do not get the level of recognition they deserve) and how the Government is supporting research and development
- Championing SMEs and start-ups and ensuring there is no backsliding from banks when it comes to lending.
- Black Lives Matter – the presence of BAME representatives in British boardrooms is very low. Ruth will be keeping an eye on what companies are doing to tackle this.
- Entrepreneurs – issues that impact SMEs and those looking to start their own business
- Best way to pitch:
- Any communication should be targeted and judicious
- Do your research – know who and what you are pitching to, consider whether it ‘fits’ and therefore whether you should be pitching at all
- No scattergun approach (there has been an increase in lockdown)
Ruth likes regional financial data, particularly unusual stats, such as how many parcels have been delivered during lockdown than before. Stats that show a change in behaviour.
If you have a story that you think has national media interest and need help crafting it or getting it in front of the right people, please give Volpa a call on 01738 658187. We’re here to help.
Read our cunningly good guide to generating press coverage in a pandemic if you want to know more on how to generate media coverage.
You can read more of our Bite Sized Covid Media Tips here: https://www.cunninglygood.com/news/cunninglygoodblog/