Staying in tune with the media so you don’t have to

Large condenser microphone in center of image. Out of focus backdrop of a journalist's recording studio.

“When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.”

Wise words from movie mogul Steven Spielberg. As anyone growing a business or delivering a major project will know, success comes when you build a strong team and draw on that wider expertise. 

A key talent of the team at Hot Tin Roof, that our clients have come to value over the last twenty years, is our understanding of a constantly changing media landscape. We’ve built solid relationships with influential journalists, editors and producers. We actively read what they’re writing, we listen to and watch their programmes, and we stay in touch with their latest thinking.

By keeping our fingers on the media’s pulse, especially during such turbulent times as these, we know how to shape a client’s story to fit the news agenda and when to flag an opportunity for them to gain some profile.

Recently we took part in a number of conversations with senior energy journalists at widely-read UK media titles.

The key themes that we came across were…

  • Appetite to understand: Website data show journalists which of their stories get read, and there’s hunger for energy issues, particularly hydrogen and EVs (electric vehicles). Readers want to understand the costs involved in adopting low-carbon technologies, and how those technologies work.
  • The Ukraine effect: There has been less room for regular energy stories but energy security is of increasing interest. For example, as countries look to shore up their own gas supplies what will happen this winter? And while fossil fuels are being looked at as a short-term remedy, it remains clear from investment plans that the future is still on track to be low-carbon.
  • The next big step: On hydrogen, journalists are keen to understand which new projects are happening, who is investing, and what’s going on with policy. And on carbon capture they are interested to see how it can be scaled up to help industry hit net zero.
  • Looking at the “broad sweep”: Editors are keen for context. Does one particular story explain a wider trend? Do the innovations of one SME speak to bigger national or global shifts?

Our recent conversations with journalists have also underlined Hot Tin Roof’s targeted approach to media relations.

While many media outlets have business and energy reporters, they also have related correspondents covering topics such as climate and transport. At Hot Tin Roof we get to the heart of a story and target the journalists most likely to be interested, resulting in us reaching the right audiences with the right messages.

Keeping in touch with the media’s thinking is in our DNA. It’s a quality that benefits our clients who, like Spielberg, have surrounded themselves with a talented team to help them deliver great results. Having close encounters with journalists might not sound as thrilling as hunting sharks or raiding lost arks but, by keeping a front row seat, we are able to turn any kind of story into a blockbuster.

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