Insight From the Newsroom: Tom Evans, Express

April 17, 2020

The media landscape and the way we pitch to journalists has changed significantly in recent weeks with the outbreak of the Covid Crisis. To ensure that we’re taking the right steps we’ve reached out to some of our key media contacts to find out from them themselves how we can better work together through these unprecedented times.

Tom Evans, Editorial Journalist for spoke to us on the matter:

How have you adapted the way that you gather news since the lockdown began?

Since lockdown began, we've diverted our attention to exclusive content across the website. We have also had to carry out all of our interviews over phone and video calls - whether that's celebrities or spokespeople for day to day news.

Most of our news is being supplied by wires and the daily Government Press Briefings. Obviously, given how serious COVID-19 is, a lot of our content is also coming straight from Westminster.

We are also working regularly with PRs across the industry, especially when looking for much needed lighthearted news. Although we are reliant much more on this news coming through over email rather than via calls - as we are all based at home.

Do you think any of your new ways of working will continue once the lockdown is over?

Possibly, it's hard to say at this stage but in many ways, like other businesses, we have been able to adapt our day to day operation very effectively.

How can brands best work with journalists at the moment?

Email us, as mentioned previously as we are all based at home answering phones isn’t always possible. With this in mind, follow up emails are welcomed too.

The news agenda is divided up into corona and non-corona content. We are either covering heavy/hard news on health stats following news updates or insights, or distraction content such as ‘what people are doing to keep fit’ or positives of the lockdown.

We have covered lots of stories about wildlife, the weather, family focused pieces which celebrate time spent with loved ones, more time to read a book and so on. Our readers particularly like real life stories on what others are doing to keep busy and anything that might make them laugh.

From our perspective we’ve seen lots of success on what series to binge during isolation, alongside DIY or cooking stories have pulled in the numbers.

I would suggest that brands tee up interviews with experts in health, fitness and home-schooling as these have become staple distraction content for isolated Brits.

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