Even if you are no communications expert, it is not hard to see that since March the news has taken a radically different pulse. Every day we continue to hear the echoes of the first wave of COVID-19, and now also of the second. While the coronavirus has fundamentally changed the world, we are not only living with this news. In other words, even in the face of the pandemic brands, or more accurately – the communications “navigators” standing behind them – mustn’t forget about the importance of purposeful and consistent communication, where drastic fluctuations and “pits” cannot be accepted.
This becomes especially important if the brand’s goal is to have top-of-mind awareness. Of course, sometimes it can be incredibly difficult not to be drowned out in the flow of information. According to data from media research and analysis company Mediaskopas, over 1.5 million news pieces are published in Lithuanian media (printed and online) each year, so expecting that you can always remain visible among such numbers is truly naïve.
However, these are a few trends that you should take note of and act on:
- Purposeful choice of communications channels and forms. From this year’s Mediaskopas statistical data, we can see that most – 73.5% - information is published on internet portals, followed by regional publications (11.9%), news agencies (8.2%), national publications (4.1%), and magazines (2.05%). If your news has a “shelf life” and must be communicated here and now, it will definitely face the greatest competition online. As such, the format and weight of the message you present have particular importance because first and foremost, it will be necessary to attract the attention of a journalist before you can expect the message to spread, gain prominence, and, of course, readers.
- Information flow “generators.” It’s unlikely anyone could still be surprised by the dominance of internet portals in publishing news, but it is worth taking note of their distribution based on popularity. Looking at the statistics, information is most actively published on the Delfi.lt, 15min.lt, and Lrytas.lt portals. What is interesting is that these major portals are the main “generators” of the information flows, releasing on average 16% of all published information. If the main portals are excluded, more than half of the news is released on other informational or specialised thematic portals.
- Communications peaks. While at first glance, the information flow in the contemporary world seemingly remains equally intensive at all times, certain communication peaks do actually exist. According to data from Mediaskopas, most of the publishing in the news media is done on Tuesdays and Fridays, while the lowest traffic reaches us over the weekends. Meanwhile, the news released on Wednesdays faces the greatest competition from political events.
By the way, this year’s record for information was reached several months ago on March 17 (day two of the lockdown) when 7,025 new reports were released by media outlets. Of course, on that day, an entire 53% of all published information was related to COVID-19. We can agree that it is practically impossible to compete with such news, but sometimes it’s not even really necessary to.
Be more mindful of other brands’ communications trends, and target times when you will definitely be visible.
Interesting! It has been observed that retail chains typically release information on Thursdays, while the activity of the insurance and telecommunications sectors peaks on Fridays. As such, if you are among them, give some thought as to whether you want to appear alongside the general flow, or if you want to present your news at a time when you can really be noticed.
So, what is the answer to the question of whether or not communications can develop on a schedule? We see that there are general trends, but in order to both broadcast news and also know that it reaches the consumer, they are not enough. The answer is simple – communications consistency, which (especially now) relies critically on flexibility and the ability to take a wider, deeper, and more creative look at communications.