Covering COVID-19: Journalists Share How Press Releases Can Get Media Coverage?
The Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic is threatening the global economy and bringing the world on the cusp of a major recession. In these challenging times, public relations and marketing professionals need to be creative and nimble in crafting promotional and publicity strategies in order to stand out in the media landscape that is saturated with COVID19-related news. PR Newswire speaks to journalists from Hong Kong media outlets such as Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao, Human Resources Magazine and Localiiz to find out how this crisis has shaped editorial directions and how press releases can be crafted to get attention from journalists.
Ching Yuen, Editor, Localiiz
Due to the pandemic, we have received fewer press releases that are related to the retail and F&B industries, and more press releases on the cancellation of events and services.
At this juncture, we prefer to write articles on outdoor activities or home-based leisure activities. If public relations professionals can provide pitches and information on interesting hiking routes and outdoor activities, we will follow up on them. Since readers are spending most of their time indoors, we are prioritizing producing articles on topics such as self-improvement.
During this challenging period, we also want to spread positivity through our stories as much as possible. However, we will also do stories that are related to government measures, such as providing a list of restaurants that offer food delivery services and how bars are adapting their menus to the temporary liquor ban. Although our contact with public relations professional has been reduced, we still appreciate if they can proactively update us with the latest information and developments.
Charly Lam, Senior Content Manager, Features (Digital), Sing Tao Daily
Lifestyle and culture-centric media outlets are paying more attention to press releases on charitable causes and health measures against the virus. Relevant news can include corporate donations and feel-good human-interest stories. The pandemic has spurred cultural institutions such as Art Basel to step up its digital transformation efforts in order to expand its audience reach. As a result, journalists are interested in reporting on how companies have adapted their operations in response to the crisis.
Press releases that have COVID-19-related keywords in the headlines will attract higher click-through rates from journalists. Besides receiving relevant press releases, we are looking to feature people who are willing to go on record to share about how their lives have been disrupted by the pandemic and how they have adapted in these trying times.
Besides virus-related news, we are also reporting on health-related news and conducting personality interviews on more light-hearted topics. Recently, there has been a lively discussion on the use of augmented reality for art appreciation, which has attracted some media coverage.
Robert Blain, Hong Kong Editor, Human Resources Magazine
In light of the COVID-19 crisis in Hong Kong and abroad, we welcome tips and information for HR professionals to help manage their employees and ensure that they continue to work safely and productively. Topics can include social distancing in the office and working from home. Given the recent travel restrictions and the liquor sales ban, it is important to update our readers on these developments and how people can stay connected with their colleagues through ways such as video conferencing. Employers can also give tips on safeguarding the mental health of their employees during this challenging period.
The best way that public relations professionals can contact us is still by email or phone. Coming from a human resource-focused media, I would also encourage PR professionals to contact me via LinkedIn.
Hannah Wong, Reporter, Ming Pao Finance
There has been a shift in how financial journalists select information for reporting due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are paying more attention to companies with online businesses due to an increased demand for e-commerce services. Journalists are now closely analyzing market policies in various countries such as the impact on the U.S. stock market in response to the unlimited quantitative easing measures by the Federal Reserve, and the governments’ thinking behind central banks pumping in money. As the spread of COVID-19 poses a huge threat to the global economy, I am paying more attention to news releases on foreign markets. With the sudden virus outbreak in Europe, newly listed stocks such as Alibaba and Meituan remain our top focus in our news coverage.
This article is written by Kate Wong, Audience Development Manager at PR Newswire and Yannis Leung, an Audience Development Intern, who is an English Studies undergraduate at the City University of Hong Kong.