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Keep communicating

Housewares PR specialist PR Direct highlights demand for ‘‘non coronavirus stories’ in the consumer press, and urges retailers and suppliers to continue to publicise their products.

Acknowledging the suddenness of the global shutdown, PR Direct director Sarah Selzer provides a rallying cry, stating: “What we must do as an industry is plan for when this is over – and the most effective way to do this is to carry on pushing your message, from retailer to customer, from supplier to retailer.”

She highlights the fact that consumer media titles are continuing to run their features; consumers continue to read and want distraction from the pandemic, and want inspiration for home cooking from print titles and online sources.

Drawing on her expertise and experience in consumer media, Sarah highlights the value of online social channels and digital media:

‘The consumer publishing industry has been changing quite dramatically and speedily in recent years and although print media still exists and is likely to continue, there has been a move to create a strong digital presence too, just as our colleagues in the trade press have. There are benefits from this move to digital, as features usually carry links to a point of purchase, so an immediate sales driver as well as a way for you to measure the effectiveness of your PR!

Titles like BBC Good Food and Good Housekeeping have their own affiliate programmes, which highlight more than one retailer for readers to access, and the media titles get a slice of that too. And then there are the bloggers and influencers – if you find the right ones they can be a real boost to your brand.’

Sarah argues that ‘Conventional PR continues to be important because media titles still want to run their features on bread makers, corkscrews or Easter baking! The only difference is that staff journalists are now working from home and wanting samples delivered there rather than their office.

Newspapers and digital sites are putting calls out for ‘non coronavirus stories’ as they know their readership wants to hear about normal life too. There is anecdotal evidence that consumers are looking to buy products that will help them in this period of enforced home cooking.’

Sarah concludes with the message: ‘Don’t pull up the drawbridge and stop communicating – sell your message and your products to a willing audience and we’ll all be there when this is over.’

Top: Mark Chapman and Sarah Selzer of PR Direct.

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