During this pandemic, we’ve been forced to evolve and adapt at a rapid pace. While uncomfortable at times, it has introduced concepts and initiatives that have improved efficiency and results in our agency. I will be sure to take these learnings into the post-COVID world, if, that ever happens… Without further ado, here are my biggest lessons:

Reconsider the way you execute events:

Events… As a publicist, you either get a thrill out of them or you become a ball of anxiety. A lot of time, resources and budget go into the creation of a killer event, and it’s a fantastic way for journalists to physically interact with your product and understand the brand story on a deeper level.

However, I recently attended a webinar titled, “Media in the COVID world” where a panel of top-tier journalists discussed the evolving changes. When the topic of events came up, the three journalists rolled their eyes and sighed.

They all welcomed the shift in events (mostly to online) as they deemed it more efficient. They said, “truly ask yourself, do you need an event for this? I’d much rather a news release with all of the key information or a sample, as we are time poor.” While some events are warranted, particularly if innovation is involved, this simple question might revolutionise PR events in the foreseeable future. We only just hosted a whiskey launch via Zoom and it was a smashing success, so we know it can be done!

Offering up an expert without an agenda to build long-term relationships

We recently embarked on a book launch PR campaign. The official release date for the book was April 1, and COVID-19 hit hard just as we were launching… It certainly wasn’t the best time to push an expert’s agenda on how to buy property, when individuals were losing their jobs and their sense of security by the minute.

We pivoted… quickly. We offered our property client, (an absolute expert in his field) to media to discuss the ever-changing landscape, the new rules being introduced, how to negotiate a rent reduction, etc. With no agenda, media welcomed him with open arms and appreciated that he was offering up his expertise with no strings attached.

As things started to ease, we then slowly switched to promoting his book. These journalists had already built a relationship and rapport with him, so they were more receptive to this release.

I think we should all take this lesson into other campaigns, regardless of whether a pandemic is happening or not. Build relationships and goodwill, be helpful, and it will be reciprocated.

Focus on quality content VS quality production

During the pandemic, we decided to shift gears with one of our clients to produce videos that were highly bespoke and contained quality content. While the production quality was not at a Hollywood production level (we were very close thanks to our Digital Marketing Specialist), their audience responded extremely well.

Although you may not have all the resources to create incredible visuals or multimedia assets, if the content is of a high quality, it will bode well with your audience. So, don’t be afraid! Try new things and step out of your comfort zone.

by Agent Amelia

Agent99 is an award-winning PR and communications agency based in Sydney. For more information about our services, contact us at info@agent99pr.com.

Further reading:
An Open-Letter to Small Agencies: You can survive this, but now’s not the time to play it safe
How COVID-19 Will Shape the Way PR Looks in the Future