Media Communications in the Age of Coronavirus

Effective critical communications start at the top, with senior leaders using email marketing as a means to share news about COVID-19, what they are doing to help, and also what consumers can do to stay safe and help others. But apart from the commonality of top-of-mind emails from the C-Suite, communications in the age of coronavirus should not be one-size-fits-all. 

The novel coronavirus is having a massive influence on the global economy and marketers need to be able to respond and adapt to a quickly changing landscape. That’s why Movable Ink’s client strategy team is sharing industry-specific tactics that media brands can employ to maintain transparency and keep customers at the core of their critical communications.

The tactics in this post were initially intended for the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but their approach remains relevant as companies prepare for a possible resurgence this fall.

Consider removing paywall restrictions

In an effort to keep the public informed an increasing number of news and media outlets are removing paywall restrictions for coronavirus related content allowing access as a public service. Some outlets have also created new dedicated coronavirus marketing channels. Informing lapsed or prospect subscribers of paywall removal offers them an opportunity to facilitate accurate information share whilst engaging and affirming value. 

The team at the New York Times announced that the publication was lifting its paywall in addition to creating a free, dedicated newsletter, “The Coronavirus Briefing” to give the public an informed guide to the global outbreak, with the latest developments and expert advice about prevention and treatment.

Embrace personalized recommendations and dayparting

With increased work from home policies, school closures, and limited public gatherings, media organizations offer services that can help customers overcome new challenges. We’re seeing a shift in offerings and marketing strategies to provide entertainment services as the coronavirus pandemic evolves daily. 

Media and entertainment companies will benefit from an uptick in streaming consumption. Nielsen analysis predicts a 60% increase in TV viewership as quarantining continues. For streaming providers, dayparting content serves as an effective way to enable content discovery. Updating content based on context drives higher relevance, and in turn, encourages streaming consumption. This can be enhanced further with previously streamed behavioral data. 

Support customers with new content to keep them occupied

As mandates for social distancing increase, people are staying home, and public venues such as movie theatres are closing. As a result of this, there has been an uptick in streaming consumption, and upcoming content creation is challenged with difficult production environments. Media organizations have responded in several ways depending on circumstances, and those who are able to be flexible with release dates might want to revisit plans for the upcoming months.

As a means of surprising current subscribers and acquiring new audiences, several streaming organizations have pulled forward release dates of content. Disney+ released Frozen II three months ahead of its scheduled release date, offering subscribers another entertainment option to help pass the time at home. The choice of this early content release is of particular significance given the relevance of the theme of perseverance, and the importance of family at this time. 

About the author

Naveen Wall

Prior to joining Movable Ink, Naveen worked at multiple brands that are creating innovative marketing experiences for media and tech services, including Shutterstock, Time Out North America, and Global Radio.

She joins Movable Ink from SiriusXM, where she ran the brand’s engagement newsletter and supported the roll-out of their recommendations engine that displays real time information on live ‘now playing’ content.