Struggle for coverage as economy dominates press

Media squeeze PROs seek new strategies to sell in clients' stories as nationals focus on financial crisis.

PR agencies are struggling to achieve media coverage for clients as the global economic crisis continues to dominate headlines.

Threepipe co-founder Jim Hawker said his agency was forced to delay a client launch because it could not get the attention of personal finance journalists, who were preoccupied with the fallout from the collapse of Icelandic banks.

'It has been difficult,' he said. 'This particular story wasn't news sensitive, so we were able to move it back. But another launch could not be delayed for commercial reasons.'

Hanover director Andrew Harrison agreed more stories were being dropped for lack of space. 'Now's the time when agencies who actually know the journalists, rather than those who just claim to, will stand out,' said Harrison.

Other agency bosses insisted that difficulties selling into nationals could be overcome by repackaging stories.

Media House chairman Jack Irvine, a former Sun journalist, said: 'You've got to explain to your more fluffy clients that either they will need to wait until the current big story dies down or they will need to get an angle that would fit in with the current coverage. It can sometimes be achieved if you think creatively.'

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