COVID-19 pushes the online news consumption to unprecedented heights. Companies need for their PR and communication to be tuned to that online success. With accessible, visually appealing and newsworthy stories, they can meet today’s communication challenges.

The succes of online news

Online news is going stronger than ever. It’s a trend that already started some years ago, but which gained momentum due to news hunger during the corona crisis. Moreover, online news channels of the traditional media give the Belgian confidence – more than social media – according to the recent Reuters Digital News Report.

Not just the various news brands, but also the world of communication is forced to reinvent itself. Printed newspapers are no longer the one and only holy grail. A study by technology website Tandemtech shows that in Flanders this market segment has shrunk by a quarter in five years. At the same time, sales of digital subscriptions rose by no less than 186% and the number of pageviews on news websites also increased spectacularly.

Use communication to take advantage of the online trend

The message for companies is clear: adapt your communication to these new trends. To do so, you need to know the difference between the news online editors need and the kind of news newspaper editors like. The online editors of the trusted news brands are often working independently from their colleagues in charge of the printed newspaper. They deliver ‘fast news’ and are looking for accessible, clickable content that is also visually attractive.

Some suggestions to tackle this fact: draft a ‘five tips’ article, or write a piece on a subject that many people are interested in and/or do not know yet. Think also of the relevant ‘Days of…’, the beginning of a period that recurs every year (exams, spring, …) or the anniversary of a historical or political event. First select subjects related to the daily life of the ordinary man/woman in the street: money, leisure and lifestyle.

Consider your target audience

The same goes for online content: always keep in mind which target audience you want to reach. An article published on the opening page of the websites of De Tijd or Trends for hours is invaluable to business leaders. For a lighter topic, reaches many more people courtesy of a share of more than 40%. But regional news is just as important: did you know, for example, that one in ten people in Flanders surfs to the website of Het Belang van Limburg at least once a week?

Our conclusion: companies that really know the digital channels their target audiences use will have more impact with their communication.

Sources: Reuters Digital News Report, Tandem Tech