What we read, watch, listen to and interact with is always changing but arguably the pace of change has never been faster. What’s new in the post-pandemic media world?
The old binary of publishers distinct from brands is no more. Publishers are brands and brands are publishers. Content marketing and social media has levelled the playing field to the extent that everyone is a publisher these days.
We are in a fragmented, digital-first space, and it’s important to consider not just traditional media but also micro-influencers, new channels and emerging platforms. Arguably the opportunities for PR are greater, with a growing range of platforms and outlets to leverage to engage with target audiences.
- Social media: As the world shut down, we logged on. UK adults spent an average of three hours and 47 minutes online every day during the pandemic, according to Ofcom. Social media is now THE media – it’s often the first and in some cases only news source people use. Brands have an opportunity to tap into social media, and use platforms strategically to build communities, continue conversations and ultimately convert customers.
- Print media: This unsurprisingly took a hit at the start of the pandemic, however it has been making a slow recovery since then according to figures from ABC. Most publishers adapted their focus on digital subscriptions, with digital growth offsetting much of the loss in newsstand sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Events: One area obviously impacted by Covid-19 was events. Many live events adapted and turned to digital – saving time, money, and resources – but how will events evolve as things begin to open up more? We can expect both a return to both physical events and a growth of hybrid events – those which combine online and IRL experiences to create community and connection.
- Turn up the audio: Audio content has a growing role in the media landscape. It is the only form of media that you can consume whilst doing something else, and it fits in well with our increasingly busy lives. Podcast listening rose 53% in Europe in April 2020 as the pandemic hit according to Voxnest, and apps like Clubhouse have reinforced the value of audio. Now is the time to consider how you can make audio work as part of your comms – be that via podcast guest appearances or considering an owned podcast series.
- Newsletters: With the media industry facing changes, a growing number of writers and publishers are turning to newsletters. Substack, which allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to their readers and monetise their work by putting it behind a paywall, has been growing since 2017 with both the number of readers and writers doubling since the pandemic started. The future of media may not be in magazines but in newsletters direct to your inbox. Perfect for niche and trade content – consider newsletters and how to make them a part of your future strategy.
- The rise of the B2B influencer: Influencers are emerging as a critical part of a B2B communications strategy. Consider partnerships, events, and ways to involve influencers that resonate with your audiences in your marketing and comms; equally consider the role of your spokespeople in telling your story and how you can build them up into influencers for the industry or topic that you want to own.
This is an excerpt from our new report How to adapt and thrive with PR in a post-pandemic world. You can download the full report here.