The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been much the same for channel media as it has for everyone else. It’s meant staying away from the office and the close contract with colleagues, which can be a real drawback for journalists, as they are constantly exchanging information and contacts across the desk and listening in on other interviews and conversations.
On the other hand, it’s meant that, like most office-based workers, they have not had to endure the daily toil of commuting in and out of the office each day. Their work-life balance will have improved, and they won’t want to give that up.
Like other businesses, publishers are also likely to now adopt a hybrid approach to working practices, allowing reporters and editors to work at home much of the time. But they will still want two or three days in the office to benefit from that cross-talk and the vibe that you get when you are part of a news gathering team.
Another upside that media has shared with industry in general is the increased use of simple video conferencing. They have done more interviews on Zoom and Teams, and that’s likely to continue. This is a good thing for everyone. The conversation can be much more personable on a video conference. You can get to know each other a little better. It’s more relaxed and considered and you can see how the other person is responding to what you are saying.
That said, meeting them in person will continue to be something that you should do when you get the chance. In the end, it is all about relationships and to maximise your chances of coverage, you need to build positive and mutually respectful relationships with journalists.
Media have missed face-to-face interaction as much as everyone else in the industry and can’t wait to get back to live events.
For this reason, we’d advise you to participate in as many industry- and media-backed events as you can – and while you are there, take the trouble to seek out members of the channel media that you’ve engaged with over the last 18 months, even if it is just to say ‘hello’ and put a real face to a name. It can make all the difference.