Patience & Resonance: The right ‘PR’ for the post-covid world

There’s reduced space now.” “But I see other business stories everyday!”

The journalist has been unresponsive.” “So, why don’t you try someone else?!”

If these conversations sound like déjà vu, let’s start by saying we need to calibrate our approach.

Covid has led to media and mind space saturation. However, the need for businesses to continue sharing updates has not ceased. 

BCG reports that pandemic has increased growth of OTT subscriptions by 60 percent - a trend that is expected to permeate into the next normal, as consumers are forming a habit of content consumption online, including the hybrid ‘theatre-OTT watches’ like Nolan’s Tenet or Salman Khan’s Radhe. So, if you are working for an OTT player, naturally you would want to trumpet your success.

But, in a business-as-unusual scenario, how do you continue telling stories, when both journalists and readers are inclined to turn a deaf ear to your newsworthy business updates?

Urgency creates momentum, but the patient & steady wins the race

Firstly, let’s be empathetic to both stakeholders - business and media. Organisations have to continue chasing targets, more so if their sector is doing well. 

  • If your current slant is not catching the media’s attention immediately, give it a few weeks and try again.
  • If your regular journalist connect is unavailable, wait some time for their availability instead of giving the story to someone else. Such humane gestures will further strengthen the relationship.

A little patience in understanding both sides of the story can go a long way.

Align with the market sentiment to solve the no-coverage predicament

Oyo, Swiggy declaring a 4-day work week, Zerodha declaring no work chats for 6 PM made news, and they made it for the right reasons. So can you, if you adapt & customise your narrative to resonate the market sentiment.

  • What are the covid initiatives taken by your organisation? Media will like to know how the employees are benefitting. Doesn’t matter if you’re a 50-employee company or a 5000. It’s the intent and the impact that matters.
  • If your business is directly or indirectly helping assuage the current crisis, let the world know about the cause you are supporting.

Yes, there will still be a Zomato that will continue grabbing the headlines for an INR 8000 crore IPO or a Moglix for being the first industrial B2B platform to become a unicorn. The sui generis nature of these new developments will allow them to stand out irrespective of the situation. Not all brands have the luxury of such front-page headlines.

But all of us PR practitioners have the weapon of patience and resonance. Persistently coming up with story pitches that are relevant for the media at this point in time, will surely get the coverage clock ticking for you. Swimming against the tide will slow us down, but if we use the current to our advantage, we can swiftly set sail.

 Sohini Sen, associate director - marketing, upGrad. Sen is also a Godrej PRmoment Adfactors 3030 winner for 2021.

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