The coronavirus pandemic is upending lives around the world at an unfathomable scale. Our customers – the world’s journalists and communicators – have a critical role in the response.
They must give their audiences, employees, and the public good explanations of what this coronavirus is, how it’s spreading, and what measures different groups are taking or should take. It also means weaving stories that help societies and groups pull through the challenges it presents. For example, we have seen a surge in engagement with positive stories about people overcoming the challenges of coronavirus with humor and grace.
Meanwhile, there is a massive public hunger for information. In the past seven days to March 16th, English language news articles about coronavirus have received almost half a billion engagements on Facebook.
Recognising that our customers and audience have a pivotal societal role in interpreting and making sense of what’s happening, and in leading the response by companies and NGOs, we want to help. Here’s some initiatives we’re announcing:
1. Coronavirus Daily Briefing
The NewsWhip Research Center has launched a daily morning COVID-19 Briefing, which will highlight the stories our software predicts will dominate that day’s news cycle about coronavirus.
This will go out at 10am ET each morning, and help ensure an ongoing understanding of the public’s areas of interest (like this NBC San Diego spot) “Distinguishing Between Coronavirus and Flu” – which has been shared 700,000 times. It may also help spot narratives, such as the spate of inspiring stories from Italy in the past few days, about societies coming together, while apart (such as the street chorus in Siena, which has received tens of millions of engagements).
Our Briefing will also spotlight topics of interest, such as the inventive ways the impact and methods of social distancing are being covered. You can see the first edition here, and subscribe here. This will be free for both NewsWhip customers and the public.
2. Client reports and specialist reports
We have produced various research reports on public engagement with coronavirus related topics in various geographies – and also a special broad report on the virus to date. Get in touch with your Customer Success Manager if you’re in need of a deep dive on a topic where your audience intersects with coronavirus. Here you can download our general report, covering the conversation around coronavirus on the web and social up until today: https://go.newswhip.
3. Data for Public Analysis
We want to make sure our data – which can inform a more enlightened response and understanding of public anxieties – is getting widely shared. We will be working with our regular media partners (like Axios, who already produced an excellent analysis of the panic growing around Coronavirus using our data, and the New York Times, who used our data to assess the quality of information v. misinformation spreading online). We will also be sharing data and analysis with other media organisations.
4. Client Support
Perhaps the most important step we’re taking is enhanced, proactive client support on all things Coronavirus.
We want to help all of our customers make sense of the crisis – whether they are the health editor at a national news desk, or a VP, Corporate Comms at a restaurant chain, with an anxious customer base of millions. To that end our Implementation and Customer Success teams are offering training and support on setting up specialist panels, to monitor areas and geographies, or setting up digests and alerts (email or Slack) to stay ahead of important stories in your areas of need. If you have any needs, you can reach us at: email@example.com
Hard data about what’s happening out there can help inform the right response. We hope we can help you get it and put it to work.
Good luck everyone.
Paul Quigley is CEO of NewsWhip, a technology that empowers helps the world’s leading publishers and brands to predict and understand the stories that will engage their audiences. Paul founded NewsWhip in 2011 to “find the most interesting stories in the world”. Each day its platform is used by thousands of journalists, marketers, and communicators in 30 countries to spot opportunities and deepen their understanding of what stories will engage audiences, and why.
Email via firstname.lastname@example.org.