Roadmap for Navigating the Media Landscape: Fall 2020 Edition

When news of COVID-19’s presence in the U.S. broke in March, we released the report Roadmap for Navigating the Media Landscape During COVID-19 to help businesses devise impactful communications in a world turned upside down seemingly overnight. But while the coronavirus thoroughly shook our worlds—the personal as well as the professional—that wasn’t all 2020 had in store for us in terms of historic, societally altering moments.

Six months later, in the shadow of sweeping calls for racial justice, a halted economy and ravaging wildfires, and in the midst of a tough campaign for the U.S. presidency, it appears another momentous news story breaks every day. So how can organizations traverse a media landscape that feels so chaotic and unfamiliar?

Because so many aspects of life have changed—and continue to change further—since the release of our first media report, strategies that succeeded initially might not be hitting the mark anymore. To address this, we’ve published a second edition of our report, which pinpoints current media challenges and offers advice on how to overcome them. Here are some things to know for brands trying to share their stories today.

Mega Trends of 2020

To understand how company stories and announcements will stack up in today’s news, it’s important to look at the media landscape from a macro level. In the news, there exist mega trends that occupy much of the ink within outlets, with coronavirus consistently the most covered topic since March. Following the pandemic (in changing order depending on date) are the economy, elections, racism and the climate. Consequently, there is less space available for other topics.

The Business of Media

Even when a company has a great story to share, it is still reliant on a publication or a publisher and, unfortunately, 2020 has been a difficult year for newsrooms. Between reporters pivoting away from their typical beats to focus on mega trends and outright job cuts, there are fewer people available to cover the topics we think ought to be covered.

The Media Landscape

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable, and industry norms can change in a snap. That being said, we connected with correspondents from the media sources that matter most to our clients to get a sense of what to expect over the coming months.

  • Business Press: While coronavirus continues to dominate business press headlines, the conversations around the virus are evolving to focus on its longer-term impacts. With so much of the media’s resources dedicated to covering this trend (along with the election), the criteria for what is currently “newsworthy” is much more stringent.
  • Broadcast: Broadcast producers remain open to company profiles, so far as COVID-19’s impact on their organizations is part of the story. Everyone is curious about how businesses are faring amidst pandemic pressures, so hearing these insights from a C-Suite executive—in addition to strategies around how to run a business during the pandemic—makes for persuasive content.
  • Tech Press: Tech media persists with a “business as usual” approach to reporting, though there is interest in stories with a coronavirus angle (e.g., how tech is being used to stop the spread). Likewise, reporters are covering the intersection of tech and politics as we near the election, exploring topics like deep fakes and cybersecurity.

These findings illustrate the state of media in a general sense, though the pandemic has naturally impacted every industry in unique ways. We’ve broken down how these trends vary across verticals, from supply chain and manufacturing, to healthcare and education, in the full report.

Navigating 2020 and Beyond

Media coverage may feel precarious these days, but you and your company don’t have to traverse it alone. To learn more about our top tips for navigating the media—for the rest of 2020 and beyond—read our report. Then, if you haven’t already, be sure to explore our new suite of services and offerings designed specifically to move your organization forward in a new business landscape.


October 20, 2020


By Jean Serra and Maura FitzGerald


Media Relations