How Covid-19 has changed media relations and what we’ve done to adapt

Covid-19 has turned so many industries upside down, and adapting to new ways of working has become a reality for millions of people around the world.

PR is no exception, and perhaps most significantly, we’ve had to adopt new ways of communicating to the media, a fundamental part of the job.

Here’s how Covid-19 has changed media relations…


In B2C marketing, mailers are a crucial part of product launches. They are a creative and impactful way to bring a product to market and allow brands to stand out from the crowd. Journalists are key recipients of these mailers – get it right and they will excitedly unbox in anticipation, immediately share on socials, and ultimately, write about it. So how has this concept changed?

Gone are the days of media house drop-offs and even office production lines of helpers armed with boxes and endless sellotape are no more. Now, we’re still making it happen, but logistically it’s more challenging to coordinate. Journalists are working from home and in much smaller teams, so getting mailers to them efficiently and impactfully has proven challenging at times. However, this hasn’t stopped us achieving the desired results. Check out how well Crunchy Nut Peanut Butter went down in its mysterious locked box here.

Selling In

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the job to readjust to has been selling in to media, for several reasons:

  • It was difficult enough getting hold of a journalist via phone pre-Covid, but now it’s almost impossible. This means email pitches need to be tighter and slicker than ever before to cut through the noise.
  • Covid has forced many publications to restructure which has led to staff being furloughed, made redundant or have double the workload thanks to an ever-shrinking team. Tailoring comms for different media types helps lessen the burden for journalists under pressure and even allows for new relationships to build when communicating with contacts you may not otherwise have spoken to.
  • The best days and times to pitch a story no longer seem to exist. With media consumption patterns having changed, it seems so have these golden rules.
  • When it comes to new product content, we’ve seen a shift in both brands and journalists looking to push products available online, rather than in-store-only buys.
  • In some sectors like regional media and specific lifestyle publications, securing free coverage has become increasingly hard. Some titles have taken a real financial hit, forcing them to push paid-for opportunities, meaning managing client expectations on results has become even more important.

In other words, patience and perseverance are key, and that’s the approach we as PR’s will take going forward to navigate these ‘unprecedented times’. Want to find out more about how we can help you with your media relations? Get in touch via our contact form, or give us a call on 07966 916643.