COVID-19 News Overload? 3 Reasons Why “Soft News” Still Matters
With COVID-19 dominating news headlines, publicists and marketing teams are feeling the pressure to get attention on other timely, relevant news that would normally pique any journalists’ interest. While it may be considered “soft news” in this current climate, there are many topics still vitally important and, in fact, may be what news consumers are yearning during this time. While times are uncertain, below are three reasons why professional service firms should not cease their media outreach:
- Good news goes a long way
According to several studies, times of crisis and suffering can result in more public consumption of “recreational” goods – not less. Social spending on clothing and other “feel-good” items did not decrease; rather, such spending remained largely the same. From online retail adapting to offer sanitary, no-contact packaging and delivery, to movie studios offering “home releases” of films that were scheduled to hit the big screen, companies are finding ways to inject positive content and products into our lives. As such, law firms and real estate firms alike should continue pushing their successes and non-COVID-19-related story ideas, and ensure it fits into the current climate.
- Now is the time to get ahead of the curve
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have a lasting effect on businesses and our economy, the dust will eventually settle and businesses will begin adapting to the new reality, including the media covering other important news. Getting on their radar sooner rather than later is a great way to secure a place in their digital rolodex of contacts. Such pursuits can also position professionals as the local expert within their field. Not only does it demonstrate your interest in an ongoing working relationship with a publication or a reporter, but it also contributes to a more regular news cycle, feeding back into the overall health and success of the publication.
- Soft news supports small businesses
Ultimately, news is a business. Local outlets are far more likely to retain business and ad revenue if they emphasize national news, or topics with a broad enough reach that the digital publication can obtain clicks and views from readers outside their typical DMA; and local businesses are more likely to thrive when they receive media attention. Local stories, such as the announcement of a regional law firm’s feature in a high-profile magazine; a CPA’s volunteer efforts at a children’s hospital; or the development of a new shopping center in a struggling part of town are all newsworthy items that can contribute to a local publication’s overall readership rates – and, by extension, their net revenue. When the economy slows down, small businesses are the first to suffer. Contributing content to these outlets and drawing attention to the work of small businesses owners is one way that firms can support the economy and promote their personal victories simultaneously.
While it may feel counterintuitive – even uncomfortable – to suggest that reporters pay attention to stories about a small civil suit or a promotion from associate to partner, “soft news” does matter and has a place in the news cycle, even if that place takes a while to find.