Reasons why the pandemic changed journalism in 2020 and why it’s essential to be more reactive with digital PR campaigns

Living in this new norm has taught us a lot about how journalism has evolved since 2019 and how Covid-19 has encouraged publications to adapt and transform how they share their news online. We have noticed that there has been an enormous change in the way real-life content as leading fashion and lifestyle publications who traditionally have models or celebrities on their front cover put NHS key workers on their front cover. 

In April 2020, Grazia was the first UK based publication to take the step in the right direction by sharing stories of women battling the virus on the front line from hospitals across the country. This issue became the best selling issue from the publication and received a lot of praise online as Britons were delighted to see more relatable women in their favourite magazines.  

However, even though the British edition sparked up changed in UK. based media. British VOGUE caught everyone’s attention across the world by putting doctors and nurses battling Covid-19 on the front over. Seeing this spring issue on shelves and online transformed the way people saw the award-winning fashion publication, as they no longer focused on luxury and high-end fashion but real-life issues. Finally, the last magazine which decided to change their front cover was GQ as they covered Captain Sir Tom’s story and fundraising he did for the NHS during the countries first lockdown in 2020. 

However, here at Embryo, we wanted to see how these stories have impacted how we absorb the news and create campaigns for our clients. We tried to find out from the editors and journalists how we can support the stories they produce across national, lifestyle and regional publications. Since the start of the pandemic, we attended 31 talks led by editors and successful writers who focus on stories centred around business, health, finance, lifestyle, beauty and fashion. We were able to redirect our thoughts and think of creative campaigns which fit the news right now. We leant that we had to be more reactive and think outside of the box when it comes to planning our campaigns that focused on trending topics and what can benefit the public.

The top tips we learnt from these talks were:

  • Create campaigns which are adaptable as the news changes every day.
  • Be more reactive and jump on opportunities sooner than later to secure placements around national holidays or dates, e.g. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day. 
  • If you use other peoples data in your press release or content, please make sure you credit the source.
  • Journalists will only link to sources that are beneficial to their readers.
  • Use case studies and real-life stories to help build brand awareness.


Following these tips has allowed us to put together a strategic plan which we implement whenever we brainstorm as we focus on putting together a campaign which targets current news. However, as a team, we use our expertise and knowledge about consumers and SEO to find the gaps and look for opportunities to share this information with the relevant platforms. As an agency, we work closely together and assist each other by providing information and research to help put together the digital PR teams campaign. Alongside, expert insights and visual assets, the digital PR team has gone above and beyond to ensure that they provide journalists with a story which targets their audience. Since we have adapted our creative process and pitching, we have secured placements for our B2B and B2C clients online and in-print every month. 


Latest News & Blogs