A recent article in PRWeek reported on new research that shows that brands are having to fight harder than ever for coverage as media output shrinks.
The report, ‘Navigating The New Landscape: Brands and Media in 2021’ conducted by PR agency Brands2Life and digital consultancy Media Measurement, found that the number of overall articles in the UK’s top media outlets has shrunk by 21%. At the same time, most articles (44%) are being dominated by ‘big issues’ such as sustainability and social purpose, and articles mentioning specific brands fell by 28%. You can read the full article here.
So, with media output shrinking, here are some of the ways in which you can create meaningful PR coverage that is more likely to gain traction.
Focus on the big issues
The article reports that many brands are choosing to put their purpose, sustainability efforts, and social issues at the centre of their communications. This is due to a rise in issue-led coverage such as mental health and wellbeing, racial justice and equality, and climate change over the past few years. Media Measurement managing director, Tim Zecchin, said that this proves that “consumers and citizens have a significant and growing demand for brands with a social purpose,” and that it’s a change that is “here to stay.”
To truly connect with your audience, it’s important to be authentic and take the time to carefully craft your stance on your purpose-led communications. One recurring theme highlighted in the report is that placing an individual personality at the centre of the content, such as Greta Thunberg and climate change, can help to drive higher engagement and more interaction with articles. Giles Fraser, co-founder of Brands2Life, said, “Company leaders have an incredibly important role in communicating the brand’s stance in relation to social issues and ensuring that they build this positioning in when planning purpose-driven communications.”
Utilise your unique data
Beyond focusing on social-led issues, you can create unique content based on your unique business data. For example, you can contact your customer database with a poll or survey the results of which can be used to communicate interesting industry-specific findings or statistics that will be of interest to both your target audience and target media outlets.
Know your audience
Knowing which social issues to focus on as a business should be informed by the needs and behaviours of your target audience. Highlighting the key issues that are important to them can help define your communication strategy and increase the likelihood of receiving coverage in the publications they read. It can also help your business to choose topics on which you would like to position yourself as a thought leader and receive positive coverage.