Five things you need to know about the UK media landscape
Written by Shelley George
Navigating the fast-paced and ever-evolving UK media landscape can be challenging for many brands – particularly to those which are foreign to these shores. It’s crucial that you stay on top of ongoing developments, or have an agency that’s tuned in on your behalf. At Eulogy, we have a proven track record of helping international brands make a name for themselves in the UK – from Halo Top, to Headspace, Noom and RewardStyle. Some might even call it our niche.
But what do you need to know about the UK media landscape for your brand to succeed in PR? Account Director, Shelley George, shares five factors that international brands should bear in mind about the shifting UK media landscape:
1. We’re a nation of cynics and sceptics
That means UK journalists are less likely to believe claims that look to be exaggerated, biased or ‘too good to be true’. Robust evidence and credible sources for your stats, particularly if you’re in the health space, are an essential investment. It might be worth forming an expert advisory board for your brand, to add further weight and validity to your claims, product, or service.
2. We love a bit of red tape
Some UK media, particularly broadcast, follow strict rules when it comes to brand mentions. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? The BBC, for example, strictly limit explicit brand mentions on air, while commercial stations have slightly more freedom. As such, news interviews are not an opportunity to ‘sell’, but more an opportunity to deliver specific messaging on a theme or topic and exchange knowledge or expertise.
If content appears overly branded and promotional (and reads more like an advert), it will be rejected. So a clever, compelling (read: newsworthy) narrative, with subtle but relevant brand mentions, is needed to help us to skirt around the restrictions. Finding this balance is key to success.
3. Our media pool is smaller and the news agenda is narrower
And in many ways, it’s only getting smaller. Because of these limitations, if a big story breaks in the UK – such as a significant development in a global virus, or the untimely death of a celebrity – this will most-likely override the news agenda, limiting opportunities for brands. So, it’s crucial to monitor the news agenda daily and understand what journalists are writing about and when. Journalists receive thousands of pitches per day, so only the most relevant and compelling stories will get cut-through.
4. UK journalists are time-poor and under increasing pressure
Editorial teams across the industry are shrinking, which means that journalists have less time to take phone calls and meet with PRs. The 24/7 news culture also means that they are busier than ever, sometimes covering content across multiple titles. So, it’s our job to tailor our pitches and packages for them, offering plug-in-and-play quick fixes to fill their pages – clearly outlining what, why, when, who, where and how. But, most importantly, ‘So what?’
5. The UK has a unique sense of humour
Despite sharing the English language with 67 countries across the world, humour does not always translate. Brits don’t take themselves too seriously. Our default humour is self-deprecating, and we love to poke fun at ourselves. We also enjoy sarcasm. For example, ‘I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be’ (hint – we can), as well as irony, deadpan humour, satire, and classic understatements. Basically, we’re a delight.
It’s no coincidence that some of the UK’s most successful brands tap into this sense of humour, creating stories and concepts that resonate with the local audiences.
To find out how we can help you support an international brand in the UK, check out our recent creds and showreel at www.eulogy.co.uk, and contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re happy to share a joke or two.