Telum Talks To...Christopher Grimes, Executive Editor, Nikkei Asian Review

Watch the conversation with Nikkei Asian Review on how to keep engaging during the COVID-19 outbreak

Based in Tokyo, Christopher Grimes is the Executive Editor of Nikkei Asian Review and an editor of the Financial Times. Telum spoke with him on how he and his teams are managing through the COVID-19 outbreak and shared tips for PR professionals on how to keep engaging during this time.

He said the coronavirus pandemic has offered a huge opportunity for journalists and media professionals to put their messages across. As the outbreak unfolds, readers rely on content providers to provide relevant stories and look for clues for weathering the storm. 

"(In terms of) readership engagement, almost every metric that we use to measure how well we are reaching readers, including subscriptions, the numbers are just exploding due to interest in coronavirus news," Grimes said. 

"Last week our total page view was up 200 percent...people are really subscribing. There is a huge opportunity. People are searching for coronavirus stories on the web and they are finding our stories," he said. More than ever, he added, content from Asia draws global attention as people are looking for best practices in weathering the outbreak. 

"People in the United States where I am from have been reading more about Singapore and Taiwan and South Korea than perhaps they ever have before...because they assume they will see a similar trajectory where they are, there is huge interest in those stories," he said. He also offered tips to PR professionals on how to keep engaging during this extraordinary period and discussed the types of stories that would land on Nikkei Asian Review.

Key takeaways include:

* While the core subjects haven't changed, Nikkei Asian Review is always interested in business-related stories, particularly about the start-up scene in Asia. At this time, editors would be interested in finding out how startups are coping with the new situation especially when venture capital funding may be drying up. 
* To pitch a story, it is now important to be "alive" to the situation and figure out how to make a story relevant to the times. Pitches that used to work six months ago may not work anymore.
* People want to know which governments are handling things well. Business people themselves are also really keen on knowing what their counterparts from other industries are doing.
* Email pitches still make sense but follow up with a call. Reporters and editors are all completely attached to their screens now, so a well-honed pitch with a telephone call might work because people are interested in talking to real people again. As always, you have to know the reporter and know what they cover.

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