The Weekly - May 19, 2020 - 15

Kris Tompkins

sure it offers fresh insight.
Niche media still wants category content: Niche media in spe-

cific categories, e.g. outdoor, fashion, trade, or tactical is focusing on
relevant topics and looking for fresh
content. "We're all in this together"
is a rallying cry: Perhaps the most
important message we are hearing
is that now is the time for humanity,
empathy, and relationship-building.
Extending a hello and a thank-you
to a journalist about a story or segment means a lot.
Social channels are a desired
tool for news gathering: Many

reporters are leaning more on social
channels for news gathering. A CBS
correspondent said that if she can't
place a story on CBS, she'll gladly
use her social media channels as a
way to tell a story. She encouraged
DMs across Twitter, Facebook, and
Instagram as a way of reaching
her-even just to say hello.
Reporters' deadlines are
significantly shorter: Stories are

being researched and posted in a
matter of hours. This is unlikely
to change any time soon. If you
are pitching a story, have sources
already lined up and ready to speak
to reporters on a moment's notice.
Editorial calendars are likely
not valid: Though once considered

a good guide for what is on tap for a
magazine, that ship has sailed.

Affiliate marketing practices
will be front and center: Report-


ers, now more than ever, are being
asked to attach retailers or vendors
to the end of their stories.

Reporters' boundaries are
being violated and they are
overwhelmed with pitches: Pub-

licists know journalists are home
all day and, in some cases, are calling them with irrelevant pitches
and DM-ing on Instagram and

Facebook. That's inappropriate.
Product acceptance: Journalists are much more cautious about
accepting packages or products.
Virtual product showings:

This is the path forward. Your
timing and technology have to be
completely buttoned up, ensuring a
smooth presentation. We have heard
horror stories about Zoom and having multiple journalists on a call.
No-nos for pitching: Starting
a pitch off by saying something
like, "In these uncertain times,"
is a big no-no. Be thoughtful in
your approach and ensure that the
pitch is informative.


Pivoting will continue: For the
most part, brands have already
changed course, but it is up to the
PR team to stay way ahead of what
is next and make recommendations. There are likely to be frequent
detours. It is critical for communication professionals to stay engaged
with senior management to make
sure that PR initiatives support
those directional changes.
Know your media and their
preferences right now: Most

public relations pros have relationships with media they deal with on
a regular basis. Their scope of work
has likely changed. It doesn't hurt
to reach out to determine what they
are working on now, if they are still
accepting pitches, and the best time
of day to approach them. For media
that is not familiar to PR pros,
track what they are writing on and
make sure that the story is relevant,
thoughtful, and informative.
Cadence is critical for working with clients: Brands have al-

ready likely pivoted. It is essential
the PR pros are working in tandem with management regarding

"Rewilding Patagonia: A Conversation About Adversity and
Resilience" will bring The Conservation Alliance Breakfast
with Kris Tompkins and Timmy O'Neill to your laptop.
"Arrive tired, leave inspired" has always been the tagline of The
Conservation Alliance Breakfast at Outdoor Retailer. Now, you can
stay in your pajamas. This year's event will take place virtually on
Thursday, May 21 at 10 a.m. PST. And you won't want to miss it: Kris
Tompkins, the leader of Tompkins Conservation, which has created
new national parks in South America; and Timmy O'Neill, the climber
and activist who recently survived a stroke in Patagonia, will share
personal stories of resilience and why it's more important than ever to
commit to activism. Put on the coffee and gather 'round the screen-
this year's conversation about our world's wild spaces is sure to be
the unfiltered, inspiring, and humor-filled break we all need.
"I'm happy to be returning to the outdoor industry," says Tompkins. "[It's been] nearly 28 years since I left, but the roots of my
work at Patagonia are reflected in what I took up when I left. For
me, it's important to talk about how to build an army of individuals
and entities that stand up against the trends of climate chaos and
the extinction crisis. We have nothing to lose." Register here now to
save your spot. -Sophia Pevzner

the evolving messaging. It is also
possible there will be company
executives who have communication needs that didn't before; they
will need to be counseled about
best practices.
You must be able to secure
interviews/images/products in
24-72 Hours: In light of tighter

deadlines, communications professionals must be able to tie up the
story and all the reporters' needs
in hours. Advise clients in advance.
Patience is a must: Eventually media will begin to accept

non-COVID-19 pitches. Yet,
this will likely vary by location,
product, and industry, reflecting
consumer trends in that area and
local restrictions where stay-athome orders may have been lifted.
Patience also applies to follow up
with reporters. Do not follow-up
with a reporter three hours later.
Wait at least three to five days.
Chris Goddard is the founder of
CGPR. The Weekly Chat with her
and Keen's Ashley Williams will
take place Thursday, May 14, 4 p.m.


The Weekly - May 19, 2020

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