How COVID-19 has Changed the Way Broadcast PR Uses the Studio

If you asked me at the start of 2020 what one of the best parts of the broadcast PR industry is I would have told you straight – being in the studio to spend some quality time with clients, have a good old gossip and eat endless amounts of croissants and sweets. However Covid changed our world drastically. 90% of our broadcast sessions are held virtually and according to our latest insights 60% of clients prefer the virtual studio set up versus going into studio in person.

Whilst there was mild panic amongst the team at the beginning – we had to find a way to run studio sessions remotely. Like many things before, innovation often comes at a time of crisis or need. As specialists in our field we quickly realised that although we weren’t sat in a £100,000 studio the technology that is out there was far superior than we ever imagined and running an ISDN session from the comfort of our lounge was actually a lot easier than we thought. Yes, sometimes there are technical hitches, sometimes spokespeople’s microphones might not be as good as we had hoped and sometimes our spokespeople might join the link late but overall the quality is as good as being in the studio and the fact that national broadcasters are comfortable taking this content is testament to the fact. The key is that broadcast media mindsets have shifted – previously ISDN could make or break the campaign for certain outlets. Now, each have their own preference but the flexibility their side has opened up so many more opportunities. I think that with the sudden drop of ISDN and studio, clients are actually seeing more top tier coverage and impact.

So it begs two questions… Why didn’t we do this sooner and what else needs shaking up? The other major benefit was the ability to link up anywhere in the UK within minutes. Back in 2020 we were still having conversations about the importance of leaving London for Manchester to appear on Breakfast… That’s gone now and maybe for good. Leading media outlets like the BBC and Sky have already confirmed that going forward they will still use zoom for interviews, and while it is nice to be on the sofa with Susanna on GMB, it is far more beneficial for us to be able to slot it into a schedule minus the travel time. Again, it allows us to deliver more. One piece of advice though, for as much as broadcasters WILL take your guest remotely, they are also keen to have different views than peoples kitchen or bedroom and so being able to be flexible and offer a guest in studio or from an outside location with a relevant backdrop, can only improve the chance of landing your coverage especially on TV.

In this new world, more impact is coming from less time investment.