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What to pitch to the media during the pandemic

The last two weeks have been awful, I'm sure you'd agree.

As a freelance PR, it's especially important to stay abreast of the media's requirements throughout this pandemic. As the situation changes, so will the news agenda. This is, of course, the case normally, but it's all the more important now to make informed and conscious decisions in order to maintain important relationships with clients and the press.

I recently received an email from 4Media today, who are keeping a close eye on the media's appetite for news and features. I've listed key takeaways from their latest insight and Q&A with The Sun's Consumer Editor, Daniel Jones:

  1. Understandably, COVID-19 will remain the main 'story' for a while to come. Pitch related stories as early as possible in the morning so newsdesks can consider it.

  2. Journalists are also now looking for positive, reassuring, community-minded stories, e.g. volunteering, food donations, and supporting elderly people and key workers.

  3. Advice pieces are also welcome on a range of topics to help the public, workers and businesses get through the pandemic.

  4. Environmental stories are still needed as it'll remain another major topic for the next few years.

  5. Stories of quirky and/ or innovative solutions such as online events are also welcome.

  6. Travel content is thin on the ground at the moment, but journalists are still writing inspirational pieces and stories on staycations. This is likely to apply for the Arts, live music, summer cultural events, etc.

  7. Stories on surveys and trend data on a range of topics are also needed, as usual.

  8. Be extra aware of topics you're pitching and how you pitch them. Don't pitch anything that may seem (or just is!) inappropriate or distasteful.

I hope that sharing this is insight is helpful to those seeking media coverage, or businesses re-assessing how they move forward with their own communications.

But, more above all else, stay safe and healthy.

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