COVID-19 and The State of the Media

Mar 20, 2020 Beth Monaghan

During this unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, clients have been asking us how to handle the media. Will every news story be about COVID-19? How will journalists feel about being approached with different topics? We embarked on a project to reveal the reality in the news behind the scary headlines we wake up to each morning.

With the help of Sam Whitmore, founder of Sam Whitmore's Media Survey, who helped shed some light on the top tier business and tech media, we assembled a team to delve into the vertical media. We asked these questions:

  • Which reporters are only covering the pandemic? 
  • Which are currently “business as usual?” 
  • How should we approach them?

Yesterday, Lisa van der Pool, a former journalist and SVP here at InkHouse who leads our education practice, joined me to talk to Sam and the InkHouse research team to discuss tech, cyber, education, healthcare, retail, marketing tech and supply chain/manufacturing media outlets. The top tier findings are these:

  1. There is plenty of opportunity for non-Covid-19 stories
  2. But we should approach the media with care -- and a heavy dose of advance research 

Watch our videos here: 

InkHouse | Sam Whitmore Q&A from InkHouse Films on Vimeo.

InkHouse | Team Q&A from InkHouse Films on Vimeo.

In addition, we wanted to understand media coverage surrounding the good that is happening in the business sector, and were heartened to see a healthy amount of coverage for companies like Zoom, which has donated its video-conference platform to K-12 schools; Headspace, which has made its meditation app available for free to healthcare providers; and Vertex, which donated $500,000 to Partners Healthcare for COVID-19 testing.

If you’d like to take a look at our data, you can access our high-level findings below. I share this with the caveat that these findings, of course, will change by the day and sometimes by the hour. 

High-level findings

Stay tuned to Sam Whitmore’s newsletter and tweets, and come back here and on our social channels where we’ll be posting more strategies for media relations, virtual events and social media in the coming days. And take good care, everyone. 

Topics: PR industry
Beth Monaghan

Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”

Read more from Beth Monaghan

To subscribe to the InkHouse Inklings blog, and for other thought leadership content just add your email address:



InkHouse has been recognized by:
  • TPTW_2019_grey
  • inc-bwp-2019-standard-logo
  • women-led-business-logo-1
  • PRNews_TopPlaces