Finding Connection Through Publishers and Media — Telling the Stories of COVID-19
The media and publishing world is struggling to limit the damage from the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s only been a few weeks. It’s already a difficult time for newspapers and publishers, so thinking about a decline in subscriptions and advertising dollars is a cruel blow.
So what’s to happen — the end of journalism and media as we know it? No more newspapers, magazines, and books? I certainly hope not. Right now, I depend upon trusted news sources more than ever, and in the past week, I’ve added a few digital subscriptions to my list. And I know I’m not alone.
The public is clamoring for good information — for correct, factual information. And one of my favorite possibilities about the futures comes from the Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school and research organization.
“If most or even many come out the other side, though, it will be as organizations that draw greater revenue shares from audiences and community support. They will be less dependent on print, with its declining-anyway ad revenues and punishing production and distribution costs. In short, they will survive by transitioning, by necessity, to more robust digital operations, a goal realized only pokily to date.”
The New York Times reports that papers and news sources are taking down the paywall for coronavirus content in order to deliver the facts, and I commend them for that. While they’re at it, it’s time to collect some zero party data. Ask me for my email address, for my name. Ask me what kinds of content I’m interested in. Build a connection with me and start the conversation. If I’m signing up for a newsletter from the Wall Street Journal, Vox, Axios, etc., I’m sending you a signal that I’m looking for more.
Brands take this intent data and use it well, but newspapers and publishers have generally been slow to adapt. A consumer today might not want to subscribe to a paper version of a newspaper but if you can show value in a newsletter or digital format, they will pay.
Did I solve the problem of newspapers and declining revenue? Hardly! But looking at online newsletter success stories like The Skimm and Morning Brew, you have to wonder if there is room for publishers to bridge the gap between what journalism has been and what it could be, by delivering content that the public is searching for.
- News Organizations Drop Paywall for Coronavirus Information | NYT
- Coronavirus is speeding up the collapse of local newsrooms | CNN
- The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future | NYT
- Covid-19 forces widespread bookshop closures as major publishers go remote | The Bookseller
- Can News Publishers Survive the Coronavirus? | Editor & Publisher
We're offering our insights and guidance to
help marketers address the impact of COVID-19
Brittany Luebke is a Content Marketing Strategist at Cheetah Digital. You can find her writing through our corporate social media channels, so follow Cheetah Digital on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. She has worked with email marketing programs since 2007, and her work has won awards from dotComm, Hermes Creative, and MarCom, as well as recognition from Really Good Emails.