Communicators from leading brands, such as Macy’s and Danone North America, discussed how they earn more media coverage on broadcast outlets nationwide and shared tips on how to manage media coverage during the upcoming election year.
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Watch the full discussion here.
Doug Simon, CEO, D S Simon Media
Orlando Veras, Director of National Media Relations, Macy’s, Inc.
Michael Neuwirth, Senior Director, External Communications, Danone North America
Jeanne M. Salvatore, President, JMS Consulting and Former Chief Communications Officer of the Insurance Information Institute
Doug Simon: So how do you figure out and craft what stories you’re going to get out there?
Jeanne Salvatore: If you seize on areas that people don’t understand. So, if there are problems consumer problems and then you have a solution to that that’s very effective way of making news.
Michael Neuwirth: Journalists are always looking for what’s new and so a big established brand. Yes, they might be interested in what’s next for that brand, but they’re also really interested at least in the food space in what’s new and why is that new. What’s interesting. What are you creating that’s not there.
Orlando Veras: Part of the process as I’ve noticed especially with the proliferation of the media online is that there has to be video content that goes with it. There has to be a visual that goes with it. And so sometimes that might drive the pickup. And so, you might want to be able to tell the story first. That way in a visual medium that will then spur the added attention because if it gets cleverly posted on one publication and that’s what your target is then some other people will look at it and that’s how you can then build from it.
Doug Simon: There’s an election next year. You may have heard. So, it seems like that’s causing challenges to get on national TV to get on the cable networks because they’re wall to wall political coverage. We’ve got some stats on that which I’ll share in a moment. How do you navigate that?
Michael Neuwirth: It’s a reality and it’s an every four year reality so it’s not our first time at the rodeo at this table. But you’re absolutely right. It means that we probably we do have to turn our attention to places where we can get our stories told. And if one of the goals is to avoid the election cycle then that is a big limitation. But on the flip side it’s a huge opportunity if you are advocating for an issue.
Doug Simon: We asked local stations how much of their newscast they were going to devote to politics during 2020 and the difference between what we analyzed on the network side versus local was huge. Two thirds of local stations said they’re going to cover spending less than 25 percent of their time on politics. So just to make sure it’s right we checked after one of the recent Democratic debates and found local stations and top five markets spent only five and a half percent of their newscast on politics, when networks are spending thirty eight percent and it’s sort of logical when you think about it because if you’re a political junkie you’re not going to be watching. Good Morning Cincinnati or good morning whatever show because you’re going to watch the cable network aligning with your interests. So how important is going local and going to these local markets where there is significant opportunity?
Jeanne Salvatore: Well I think going local always makes sense because it does allow you to tailor your message very specifically to your audience in a way that you can’t do nationally so it should always be very important. And if it’s a really good interview there’s always the possibility that it could go national. If you’re providing something really interesting.
Orlando Veras: There’s opportunities. I think everyone thinks of primetime news as the thing you want to be on. But in some cases, the story that you have to tell might work best in a noon newscast. Where there’s less of that kind of hard news and more opportunity to do kind of a more lifestyle things. If that’s if that’s your area.