Pitching digital PR campaigns during lockdown. Find out why being more reactive helps you get media coverage.

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Starting the new year in a national lockdown has been challenging for many digital PR teams across the UK as vaccinations, and the new Covid-19 strain was all we saw in the media. However, what do you do when you have a story or campaign which is not about the pandemic? Is it still relevant? 

The answer to your question is, yes but you have to be selected and reactive more than ever to ensure your work gets published. Some of the campaigns, we have had success on in January were centred around trending topics and conversation which we knew would crop up in the year such as diets, exercise and healthy living. But the idea of people getting the motivation to complete new year goals in 2021 had changed as people were unable to stick to those long-term plans. Instead, rather than focusing on humans, we look at what else could be newsworthy, and we thought about pets as we had noticed how pets had grown in popularity since the first national lockdown. 

For a reactive PR campaign, we wanted to reveal if pets were at risk of obesity and if the stats were similar to human health risks. A study, we put together with Burgess showed the rise of dog weight gain since lockdown, and we used this a piece to pitch in the new year. Instead of focusing on people, we helped educate dog owners about their pets’ health to ensure they’re fed the right food and get daily exercise. 

This campaign stood out of the crowd as this data brought something new to the table and helped educate people about their dogs health. We wanted to ensure the findings we sent to journalists were factual and gave evidence of the worrying increase of dog weight gain. Apart from sharing some rather shocking stats, we also provided publications with tips and advice to keep your dog happy during the third national lockdown.

How to make your pitches stand out during a national lockdown:

  • Make sure you read the news every day to know what the prime topics are each day.
  • Use social media to stay on top of journalist requests.
  • Be prepared to rewrite your press release and content, so it reflects current news topics.
  • Target new publications and journalists with this refreshed press release.
  • Ensure your source your comments and expert comments in advance to ensure you have enough data and insights for journalists. 
  • Have high-res images sourced in advance so publications can use this for their stories.  
  • Be prepared for questions and further comments depending on the publication.
  • If you are providing journalists with more resources, please make sure you aware of their deadline.