Data-informed and not data-driven. Here’s what Embryo’s PR team has learnt from The Times and Sunday Times webinar.

james coney tb

Here at Embryo, we take the opportunity to learn more about the industry and how the general public absorbs the news and consumes content as that drives the success of our campaigns. From using trending topics and targeting different popular news outlets, we have noticed that isn’t enough for your campaigns to get links and coverage across a variety of news platforms.

So far, we’ve attended talks led by Sky News, Grazia, The Telegraph and The Guardian about the way fashion, lifestyle, business and economic reporting has changed in the UK. However, we knew there was much more to learn about what’s constantly changing in the media, so that’s why we made it a priority to attend a Money talk with the Money Editor, James Coney at The Times and Sunday Times.

unnamedThe live session stated James Coney was talking about the challenges that both papers have faced during the pandemic and how they’ve had to evolve producing news. Since both the weekday and weekend paper started to merge more closely together at the end of 2018, they have found brainstorm ideas from home without overlapping as they use a Monday and Wednesday to plan for both papers in advance. So if your client KPIs are to build brand awareness in print media, you will need to make sure you pitch your story before those days to get a placement in the paper.

However, as you know, online journalism has so many more perks for our campaigns as it builds brand awareness, increases organic and improves content visibility and SEO rankings. But rather than focusing on data-driven stats, Coney made it clear that they want to create stories which help people with their financial circumstances. From saving your first home or managing credit card repayments this experienced journalist and editor advised that if you are pitching any campaigns related to these newsworthy topics, your client must have the authority to talk about it. Along with having the expertise and knowledge about dealing with a range of money-related scenarios, the money reporters want to use trustworthy sources which help their readers make sensible decisions with their money.

Along with delivering more insightful pitches, this paper has made it clear that they want PR’s to understand their audience and style and not pitch surveys. They want to see real facts, figures and background details which will help them produce their articles, so make sure you get to the point when you are pitching to The Times money desk. 

But what about case studies? Previously papers like The Times and Sunday Times liked to have case studies as the majority of their readers wanted to know what banks, businesses and the general public were doing with their money. But as the way we consume news has changed. They’ve emphasised the need for real-life stories which are influential for their target audience, e.g. ” Father sells home to support the family.”

Finally, when it comes to pitching your digital PR campaigns, you want to ensure you are targeting the relevant writer and aware of the news conferences which journalists and editors attend every Monday morning. So, you may be best waiting to send that email in the afternoon to avoid having your pitch ignored or dumped in the junk box.