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In the context of a global health crisis, it can be a challenge for editors to strike the right balance between providing useful information and avoiding the appearance of panic.

Facing such a dilemma, many print and online editors choose to pull back on their content strategy. However, our insight shows there’s no better time to supply useful content.

People are spending more time at home. They’re cooking more, focused on making their homes more comfortable and working to keep their families healthy and well.

“Our readers are not only interested in the details regarding official policies but are also (understandably) in need of coping suggestions for keeping their families and daily lives as close to normal as they can be,” said Robert C. Marsala, multi-platform producer with Hearst Media CT. “It is important to have a mix of informational content as well as lighter-themed articles to help distract from the stress of living in this new reality.”

Through data and direct conversations, we know editors appreciate the expertise trusted brands are willing to share. Overall, our content downloads are up 5% over last year during the same timeframe. New outlets have begun using our content and others have increased their activity. This is partly due to a reduction in resources for publications that still need content to fill their food, home, garden and lifestyle sections, and it’s also reflective of readers’ increased attention on content that helps them live and work better.

“We’re aware that the coronavirus is weighing upon the minds of our readers and we like to choose articles that recognize it without inundating them with no escape,” said Rick Dahl, graphic designer with the Stewartville STAR. “So while we occasionally break up our content with non-virus topics like recipes, we’re always looking for stories that recognize the realities of the pandemic but also provide constructive ways to cope.”

Adapting your strategy to deliver useful content consumers can use to navigate uncertainty gives you the chance to position your publication as an expert and resource.

Time to Restart the Economy

In addition to helping your readers understand COVID-19 and providing strategies to make it easier and more comfortable for families to stay home, the country is starting to open with caution. Family Features has a new featured category, “Restarting the Economy,” to help businesses rebuild and drive traffic.

There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, which comprise a whopping 99.9% of all domestic businesses, according to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. The United States has somewhere around 27 million entrepreneurs and 69% of them started their businesses at home. Articles on marketing, strategizing, home-based businesses and more are now available in the Restarting the Economy category.


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Cindy Long

Cindy Long is Family Features’ Media Relations Manager. She works with a network of more than 10,000 editors to help fill the food, lifestyle and home and garden sections of their newspapers, magazines and websites.