Coronavirus PR: ‘Show don't tell’ has never been more important

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Show don't tell. Show don't tell. Show don't tell. 
 
You can't overemphasise it. But there's always plenty of companies who think that in the heat of a crisis they just need to tell us how good they can be at helping us if only we'll listen to their spokesperson.
 
Let's put it in the simplest terms possible. If your client has only asked you to put them forward to be quoted in stories about the changing face of the workforce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it'd be good to set their expectations to 'stunned mullet'.
 
I've been flat out writing pieces about remote working. Strategies. Technical solutions. Cultural impacts. The works. The biggest thing I need is real stories about what's changing and how people are dealing with the situation. Case studies. Showing the work happening in real-time.
 
Yes, case studies are HARD right now in PR terms. It's too soon. There's no way to control the message or know exactly how well it's working. But that's what I'm asked for more than anything else. Examples of people getting on with work thanks to digital environments and tech hardware that is helping them to do whatever it is they do.
 
I don't want a spokesperson telling me what they're offering or what they're planning to do differently. I want the customers and the clients and the consumers.
 
Zoom has crushed it as a tech company in this crisis, and at first it was largely not by design. One of the biggest examples of a top down experience instead of the recent history of bottom up tech adoption, it moved from business tool to mainstream consumer usage within a matter of weeks. But they did also step forward to offer something real to schools, removing barriers to entry and adoption to help make this moment easier for those who needed video conferencing solved in new ways.
 
Australia's Rode, a great audio hardware company with a worldwide reputation for excellence, announced a donation of millions of dollars worth of podcasting hardware to help NSW schools to produce content for students remotely at a high quality.
 
Instead of this, they could have sent out a press releas talking about how good quality microphones are important in remote work conditions and that their spokesperson is available for comment. Instead they offered value to people who needed a solution, and I don't doubt in coming weeks there might be some interesting case studies of how that hardware has been used.
 
It's been great to see new initiatives from many organisations. Even online hackathons and events going digital, and the stories of how some of these have enabled people who have never been able to participate before to take part. Stories of how remote has become an opportunity, not just a band-aid.
 
Video games have been launching early to take advantage of the downtime. Online games have been offering premium access for 30 days, or boosting in-game progression to attract people to spend time in their games. They're not just saying "games are a great way to relax and distract from bad times we can give you some quotes if you would like." They're just encouraging people to play.
 
As we exit the 'early phase' of this crisis and enter the long middle of whatever is to come, companies should be careful to avoid looking like they're just trying to be visible and focus on what they can do to help. Help customers. Help charities. Help just one person. Do something real. Then maybe there will be a great story to tell about it. Maybe in a few days. Maybe on the other side.
 
Just remember to show us something real.

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory


Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Media News

NOVA shows to air on Easter holiday

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NOVA Entertainment will be airing its shows over the Easter break.

The plan calls for the network’s breakfast shows in each state - Fitzy & Wippa (NOVA 96.9 Sydney), Chrissie, Sam & Browny (NOVA 100 Melbourne), Ash, Kip & Luttsy & Susie O’Neill (NOVA 106.9 Brisbane), Ben & Liam (NOVA 91.9 Adelaide), and Nathan, Nat & Shaun (NOVA 93.7 Perth) – to broadcast starting 6 April, with their stations' usual programming to continue until 3PM.

The Kate, Tim & Marty Drive show will take over on national syndication from 3PM to 6PM followed by Fitzy and Wippa (6PM-7PM) and Smallzy’s Surgery (7PM-10PM).

“There is a strong desire as humans to feel like we're a part of something and we're hearing from so many of our listeners (most in isolation) how much it means to them to still be able to wake up and continue to listen to their favourite shows throughout the day,” said NOVA chief programming/marketing officer Paul Jackso

Signature Media acquires Vacations and Travel

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Signature Media has purchased Vacations and Travel magazine from the Morris Media Network, reported Mediaweek.

Originally geared towards luxury travel and family vacations, Signature is now repurposing the title towards a broader travel audience. The purchase will cover the print edition, official website, and social media channels. However, no print issues will be made until summer 2020-2021 due to concerns over the COVID-19 crisis.

Jac Taylor continues as editor, as do digital staff members Anya Vokhmyakova and Eliza Valk. Veteran staffer Helen Hayes is back on the crew as editor-at-large.

“The acquisition of Vacations & Travel magazine gives advertisers the opportunity to reach a much larger market, targeting different age groups and travel types, from cost-conscious travellers up to the discerning high-end luxe connoisseur and everyone in between,” declared Signature Media CEO/group editor Cathy Wagstaff.

“I have to admit, I was ecstatic to hear that it mi

Bauer Media NZ shuts down

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The coronavirus situation has triggered the closure of Bauer Media New Zealand.

Company CEO Brendon Hill told staff over a Zoom video conference that the current Alert Level IV lockdown proved untenable for the company to keep going. As a result, 237 people will be given full redundancy benefits and leave entitlements, while accounting outfit EY will aid in winding down the company.

"In response to the situation, Bauer carried out an urgent review of its New Zealand operations and considered all options to keep part or all the business open, including engaging with the New Zealand Government. An active search is under way to find buyers for our New Zealand assets, including our many iconic titles, however, so far an alternative owner has not been found," he said.

Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said Bauer NZ opted not to take advantage of a NZ$500k wage subsidy. 

The move ends a long journey that started when one of Bauer NZ&rsquo

McLean takes on Ticker TV anchor gig

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Alana McLean has joined digital media startup Ticker as its new presenter for 2PM show Ticker Newsroom.

Her show is one of eight new live programs on Ticker, which is expanding into the live news and analysis programming format. She will also work with Ryan Jon in handling soial media content.

The other seven are Change Inc with David Banger, Spotee with Elio d’Amato, All Founders with Christian Cunningham and Laura Racky, The Trade Chick with Kiki Makrogiannis, The Impossible with Tima Elhajj and Belinda Agnew, The Frontline with Cate Schreck, and an unnamed ecommerce program hosted by Scott Kilmartin.

“I’m thrilled to be joining such an innovative media platform. During these uncertain times, I think our appetite for information has never been stronger. Ticker has created a fresh voice in locally produced news and I look forward to being part of that conversation with our viewers,” said McLean.

News Corp Australia community papers out of print

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sixty of News Corp Australia’s NSW, Victoria, Queensland and SA community papers are to be taken off the printing presses.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said a drop in ad revenues due to the closure of commercial establishments under the COVID-19 situation forced a decision to end community title printing after 9 April 2020. 

The titles will be purely digital and their readers will be offered a 28-day free trial subscription, including access to the Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser’s websites. 

“During this unprecedented time it is imperative that we reduce costs while continuing to keep the community informed and doing all we can to retain jobs. The print suspension will allow us to assess the shape of the market itself and future conditions, taking into account how the Coronavirus situation unfolds in the coming period,” added Miller.

5 Minutes with Julia Talevski

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
She’s a senior journalist at ARN, but also a massive soccer fan who’s juggling toddlers on the side – so watch her schedule accordingly. It’s 5 Minutes with Julia Talevski.
 
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I work three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) as a senior journalist for ARN, covering almost anything related to the IT industry - particularly within the channel.
 
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
I absolutely treasure taking part in the shortlist committee for our annual ARN Innovation Awards and Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA). I also used to co-host a classic hits and country music radio station.
 
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
A marine biologist or a pilot. 
 
Which story or stories are you most proud of?
The Microsoft Internal Use Rights licensing saga. Partners were fuming at Microsoft's plan to start charging them to use the IUR licenses,

Cassidy returning to ABC

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

National broadcaster ABC has brought Barrie Cassidy back for eight episodes of interview show One Plus One.

The network revealed that Cassidy’s stint on the show, called One Plus One: Leadership, will begin on 9 April, with the discussions to focus on the various aspects of leadership. 

The show will be Cassidy’s first gig since stepping down last year as host of ABC’s Insiders.

The 9 April episode, in particular, will see Cassidy talk with Bawley Point Rural Fire Brigade Captain Charlie Magnuson. The fire chief is slated to recount his experiences leading the crew during the recent bushfires and what they had to do to survive.

Australian cricket team coach Justin Langer, APY Lands Executive Board Council chairwoman Sally Scales, and former ASIO director-general Denis Richardson are among the other scheduled guests.

More News latest

Icon Agency earns Schneider Electric account
The Icon Agency is doing business with Schneider Electric Australia.

Wunderman Thompson works new campaign with RAC
Wunderman Thompson and RAC have started a new campaign.

RED Havas earns KitKat and Allen’s account
RED Havas is “having a break” with Nestle Australia’s KitKat and Allen’s. ... Show more

Horizon earns more sustainability duties
Horizon Communication Group’s sustainability practice has additional client work. ... Show more

Gloster stands down
WPP executive Sunita Gloster has moved on.