Coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has understandably dominated the news agenda, to the point that you might think no other stories would have a chance. But you’d be wrong.
Story fatigue, for broadcasters and their audiences, has begun to set in and frankly, we all need an occasional reminder of normality. Hence the appetite for stories other than the big one.
Here are some of our recent successful campaigns.
Weds 8th/Thurs 9th April 2020: Ordnance Survey and the Outdoor Industries Association Get Outside Inside
- 32 interviews with a reach of nearly 59 million listeners/viewers
- This included 3 TV interviews, 6 national radio interviews and 15 BBC regional radio interviews
Get Outside Inside was the perfect story for the time. It linked into the Coronavirus pandemic but with enough separation for it to have a light-hearted feel. The aim of the campaign was to call on people to stay indoors, to protect others, whilst encouraging them to get active.
Originally, Ordnance Survey came to us with a story about getting people outdoors. But with social distancing and instruction from the government telling us to stay at home, the campaign had to be adapted.
Coverage was phenomenal, even more so given Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still in hospital in intensive care, on the day of the story. Add to this the challenge of producing a multi-media broadcast campaign remotely. Everyone involved worked from home, our two spokespeople speaking to journalists by Skype or phone, supported by our producer who called the stations ahead of each interview to confirm times and briefed the spokespeople via text and email.
British Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas, MBE, made a great celebrity spokesperson, but we secured so many interviews in the end, he needed to be supported by a second spokesperson from Ordnance Survey too.
You can watch the TV coverage here
And listen to the radio coverage here
Tues 24th March 2020: James Reed PR and the Asphalt Industry Alliance: State of the of Nation’s Roads, Annual Report 2020
- Two mentions on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
- 13 other additional radio interviews
- Total reach of nearly 15 million listeners
The story fell the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a televised address to the nation, saying all but key workers should stay at home under lockdown.
We have supported James Reed PR and their client the Asphalt Industry Alliance over a number of years, promoting their annual report on the State of the Nation’s Roads. There was no link to the pandemic here, plus there was the additional challenge of having to find a new angle, having achieved extensive coverage for the same campaign in previous years.
Again, both the spokesperson and our producer worked from their own homes. The spokesperson had been given a list of interviews to expect and where possible we got broadcasters to call them. Our producer meanwhile called up ahead of each interview and advised the spokesperson by email and text.
Read our full case study on AIA here.
Ongoing retainer: Feel Good with Lavina
- Between 15th and 31st March we have secured 9 opportunities including LBC, BBC Radio London and BFBS.
Lavina Mehta is one of our retained clients; she’s a personal trainer who specialises in exercise ‘snacking’ – short bursts of exercise. Ordinarily she would work with her clients on a one-to-one basis in her gym, but social distancing has meant she has now moved to teach online.
She has been on air talking about how families can exercise at home during the lockdown. Again, it’s great to be able to link to the current lockdown with a positive story.
We’re not saying it’s easy, but it is possible to get coverage on national and regional radio and television. Stories that broadcasters most like include ones with some sort of feel-good link to the pandemic. But not always; there is an appetite for completely different stories too, as broadcasters and their audiences search for a reminder of normality.
If you’d like to discuss an upcoming broadcast PR campaign please get in touch. Emil firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7240 7373 (it will be diverted to one of the team’s mobile numbers, as we’re all working at home) to discuss.