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How do you secure positive press coverage during a pandemic?

March, 2021

Having a sense for what makes news is fundamental to achieving positive press coverage. Combined with longstanding media contacts and an ability to write a press release, great PR – like great comedy ­– is also about the timing, says Andrew Metcalf, Director of Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim.

During the pandemic, the media has been under increased pressure with many news editors and reporters working remotely with technical challenges to overcome. A good PR agency knows how to make the journalist’s life easier because this both increases the prospect of coverage and delivers for its client.

A case in point

Maxim was approached by Kent and Suffolk-based digital marketing agency Media In A Box, on behalf of its client Vitality Home Health, a GP-led domiciliary care company serving north and west Kent, with a view to commissioning PR support.

At the heart of news sense is putting yourself in the shoes of the journalist and getting a proper understanding of what the story is and what questions are likely to be asked. It’s about sense checking, fact checking, and making sure the story stands up to scrutiny.

So we contacted the company and spoke to the managing director and operations director, in effect we interviewed them as if we were members of the press.

Maxim’s approach to PR is to present the whole story in a form the media can use. We prepared a press release outlining the Vitality story in full, answering all the questions the media were likely to ask without them needing to ask them. It contained quotes attributed to senior representatives from the company and highlighted how members of the public could contact the company.

The story

In essence, the Kent-based, GP-led care company is offering to transport elderly and vulnerable people free to their Covid vaccination appointments.

We were able to answer the key questions of who, what, why, where, when and how, and the timing of the announcement coincided with a major vaccination milestone, heightening its news value and allowing us to link this local news to a national success story.

The results

After contacting the county’s media, and then briefing the client on media interviews, we successfully secured interviews for Vitality Home Health with BBC South East Today, KMTV, and BBC Radio Kent.

The press release generated significant column inches in KM Group titles, including the Kent Messenger, Dartford Messenger, Gravesend Messenger and Kentish Gazette, plus Kentonline.co.uk.

The response

Commenting on the results, Manpreet Singh, Managing Director of Vitality Home Health, said: “We were particularly pleased with the quick reaction to our request and the efficiency shown in dealing with the media. Andrew was particularly reassuring and attentive towards our staff.

“As a result of the coverage, we have had several phones calls from existing customers who were pleased to see us on the BBC and felt that they ‘certainly had picked the right company’.

“We have also experienced a surge in requests for the pick up service, which we are really pleased with.

“We are very happy with the response and would happily work alongside Andrew and Maxim without hesitation.”

To find out more about what Maxim could do for your company, contact us.

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Director

posted in: maxim/client news, media relations, public relations,

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