COVID-19 first emerged in the United States in February andhas since been a consistent and substantial piece of the news. However, its presence in the news is only a small portion of the effect that it has had on the media landscape as a whole. This includes the impact on news outlets as well as people that are in the news, and their corresponding public relations agencies and publicists. As a result of this, media teams have had to take on additional roles and efforts such as providing assets that are traditionally a role of media, such as b-roll and professional photos. The pandemic as a whole has shown how quickly the media landscape can adapt, learn and grow.
1. News Outlets
News outlets including print, magazine and television are the foundation of the media industry and have arguably taken the hardest hit during COVID-19. Many have been forced to make difficult business decisions, and even some of the most successful outlets have struggled. Some of the major publications that have been affected by the pandemic include Group Nine Media, Vice, Bleacher Report and Playboy. W Magazine is a leading fashion publication that was substantially affected by the pandemic, before an ownership group led by supermodel Karlie Kloss obtained the magazine to prevent its downfall.
Interviews have taken a direct hit since the pandemic due to quarantine and social distancing, but with the aid of a skilled publicist there are still opportunities. The industry has adaptedand interviews have turned virtual using platforms like Zoom and StreamYard. Media training is more important than ever with virtual interviews, and making sure that an open line of communication between the client and their media team remains clear so that they are as prepared as possible for their interview.
Lockdown measures put a halt to events entirely, although restrictions have since eased up and media product launches and announcements are slowly coming back to life while abiding by social distancing. This has changed how a reporter is able to cover a story, or their ability to interview on the spot at the event. Creative virtual events are an example of innovative ways to host events that are traditionally in person, virtually.