Even though COVID-19 practically turned the world upside down — and a lot of businesses suffered from the economic loss it brought — the b2b industry still published consistent content regarding the pandemic. b2b publications focuses on certain industries so it was easy covering the pandemic and making sure that the information being covered was still relevant to the readers.
Kenneth Shapiro, Editor in Chief for TravelAge West, described that the pandemic brought the readers and their publication closer together.
“We’ve gotten more involved in our community of readers. We’ve had to reconsider our content focus but it’s brough us closer to our audience,” he said.
Many other Editors and Publishers agreed with Kenneth and many talked about how it brought new engagement and interaction towards their digital issues.
One editor stated that their publication has “an entire dedicated web page to related headlines regarding COVID-19 for our readers.”
Chelsea Butler, Executive Editor of Kitchen & Bath Business, kept it simple but still effective when describing how their publication has covered the pandemic.
“We have covered it from several standpoints and in various formats along the way,” she said.
Some editors said that even though their publications have covered the pandemic massively, they still managed to make sure their content was always moving forward.
“We cover it when and where it’s relevant to our readers. I find my readers looking forward and not backward over the last nine months. The bigger question for them is now that they’ve lived through this, how do they prepare for the next big disruption, so they’re not caught again by surprise,” said Bob Trebilcock, Editorial Director for Supply Chain Management Review.
Johan Meyer, Senior Editor for International Hardware Retailer, agreed with Trebilcock on keeping the publication moving forward as well as to also make sure that the content being published was positive instead of focusing on negative effects from the pandemic.
“Our approach has been to cover the facts of how Covid is affecting the industries that we serve, but instead of dishing out the negative effects, we’ve focused on the positive and accelerated innovation and technological advancement and the advantages for our customers,” Meyer said.
Grant Morgan, Senior Editor for TWICE, agreed with focusing on positive content for their audience.
“TWICE has tried to show the positives, especially how retailers and independent retailers are pushing froward, helping their customers and communities and taking care of business while making huge changes for the better,” he said.
Although these publications made sure to always continue moving forward with the content, they still managed to cover the pandemic effectively because of how relevant it was in many people’s lives.
“We have run deep-dive articles in the print editions, focusing on the impact of the pandemic on the sector and speaking to key people about how they have coped or changed direction. We even introduced a new weekly newsletter that focused entirely on Covid-related content,” said Tina Nielson, Editor of FoodService Consultant.
Another editor took the same approach for their brand and introduced completely new methods such as, “podcasts, webinars, and a slew of posts were introduced to our publication from the pandemic.”
Many b2b journalists took advantage of producing consistent content for their readers so the engagement could remain the same, but they also made sure that the pandemic content never got too out of hand.
“The topic has made its way into every issue (print and digital) and into our webinars since the pandemic began,” said Lauren Pinch. Editor in Chief, of Construction Executive. “Yes, feedback shows that our coverage has been successful; but we are being mindful of avoiding oversaturation by tuning into information that specifically affects our industry.”
The pandemic may have brought on drastic change for the world, but for b2b titles, it also produced an entirely new topic stream that publications could relay to their audience, both by posting relevant news content and by producing analysis of what it means for the publication’s readers.