covid19 story
As the pandemic continues, it comes as no surprise that when Australians tune into their daily news bulletin, the story is nearly always COVID-related.

If you’re a business leader operating in an industry outside of health, it may feel near impossible to get your story up in the news. However, all it takes is a planned-out story matrix and a slight tweaking of your core messages to gain media traction.

Lean into a COVID angle

A great way to make your story newsworthy is to link your current messaging to the coronavirus. Reflect on how COVID-19 is affecting your industry, your business, your staff, and your clients. Think about the changes you would like government leaders to implement. Here are some techniques you can trial:

  • Provide industry commentary:

  • The media love to hear from experts talk about how the coronavirus is impacting their sector. Consider your operating environment and what has changed due to the pandemic. Reflect on issues such as snap-lockdowns or the vaccine roll-out. Perhaps you want to share your policies around vaccines, for example, will you make it mandatory for your staff to get the jab? Why or why not?

  • Call for change:

  • It is no secret that COVID-19 has devastating effects on businesses, from supply chains to staff turnover to bankruptcy. Think about what changes you would like to see within your operating environment in relation to the pandemic. You may consider calling on the government to increase funding and grants or maybe you’d like to see vaccinations mandated within your industry. Whatever your stance is, make it clear and bring in expert partners or institutions to support your cause.

  • Talk about trends:

  • COVID-19 has significantly impacted business trends in both a positive and negative way. Reflect on how your industry has changed since the pandemic surfaced. E-commerce and food delivery, for example, have significantly benefited from lockdown, with consumers making more virtual transactions. As a business or industry leader, it may be worth commenting on what trends you expect to emerge as a result of the pandemic.

Using a story matrix

It is worthwhile considering how the media respond to stories in the news. Before you commence the pitching process, you should consider a story matrix. Think about the following elements:

  • Visuals:

  • Can you make your story visually engaging? If the answer is yes, then you may consider pitching your story to TV News or magazine outlets.

  • Case study:

  • When covering a story the media often look for a human element. For instance, if you’re pitching a story about mandating vaccines you may want to bring in a worker who has received their COVID injection.

  • Partner:

  • Gain commentary from industry experts who support your cause. This may be a peak body, research group, or academic. This provides more ground for your story.

  • Research:

  • See if there are any recent studies, reports, or statistics that have been published that relate to your industry. Use this to support your claim, or to build a story around.

  • Call-to-action:

  • In order for your story to gain traction, you need to discuss what changes you would like to see within your sector. This may involve calling on the government to make policy changes or to increase funding.

Today’s news cycle can make it difficult for any business to get into the media. By leaning into a COVID angle and testing techniques including using case studies and expert partners, you can expect to gain traction.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.


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