How to Support Media Amid COVID-19
At our home base in Seattle and beyond, we continue to see the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. From some of our favorite restaurants permanently shuttering, to highly anticipated events either being cancelled completely or reimagined as virtual experiences, it’s clear that industries across the board are struggling to find their way in these new waters.
Unfortunately, as businesses (in a best-case scenario) pause to wait out our current situation, they’re also being forced to scale back or cancel advertisements, events and partnerships—all of which are core sources of income for news outlets.
During a time when, more than ever, readers are turning to media to arm themselves with the information needed to weather a global crisis, our media are struggling to stay afloat. We’ve seen the ongoing impact on a local scale: first, The Stranger was forced to lay off 18 employees, leaving (arguably, not even) the bare bones team needed to keep the publication running. Then, just this week, Seattle Magazine announced it would be pressing pause indefinitely. And this is to say nothing of the countless layoffs, furloughs, pay-cuts and reassignments our media have experienced during the time in between.
National news media are struggling, too. Vox Media, Conde Nast and Buzzfeed are among the long list of businesses grappling with significant layoffs and other repercussions of COVID-19.
As PR pros, without media to help tell our stories, our jobs are instantaneously made harder, and our impact potentially diminished. Our relationships with editors and reporters are one of the most valuable parts of our day-to-day.
To support our friends and peers in the media industry—those still working tirelessly to keep us informed, as well as those waiting for the storm to subside to resume work—we’re asking you, our trusted network, to join us in one of the following:
- Donate to your favorite publications. Many have a form front-and-center for ease.
- Sign up for a paid subscription. While many online publications have lowered their paywalls to ensure everyone can access important information during these times, if you have the means, pay anyway.
- Support your favorite local businesses in any way you can. As their business rebuilds and begins to thrive once more, they’ll be able to reinstitute advertising and important media collaborations that support the news industry financially.