How to get press coverage in Denmark: 7 things you need to know about Danish Media

If you want to get going with PR in Denmark, there are a number of important things you need to know if you want to make an impression. This is because Denmark has its own set of rules: rules that we at Publico know very well indeed.

To help you out, we have selected the 7 most important points about the media landscape in Denmark; so you can avoid making serious mistakes when you launch your PR efforts. You can learn, for example, why a regular American press release is a no-go in Denmark.

Read the guide: How to use the annual management review for PR

#1 Narrow media landscape in Denmark

As Denmark is a small country, the number of relevant media within a given industry is fairly limited. This means it is essential to build long-term and trusting relationships with the right journalists from a variety of selected media.

Because Denmark has few media outlets, you can easily get things wrong if you, as an overseas company, make mistakes from the outset (since there are not many media to choose from). Close relationships between the journalist and the agency are important as your collaboration will need to last for many years.

#2 Expectations of transparency go both ways

The Danish press highly values transparency and integrity. They expect companies who want a story in the media to have the same mindset.

There are expectations that the company is available if, for example, questions or criticisms arise. This means that the source or contact person in the story should be available for further comment. Not only is this good etiquette, it can be make or break.

As a result, it is crucial to include the telephone number and email address of the source, as well as a time when they can be contacted.

It should also be noted that it is virtually impossible to publish statements from an anonymous, US-based source, as some customers have asked us to do.

#3 International brands can be small in Denmark

Large overseas brands abroad can be small in Denmark - yes, maybe even irrelevant. The Danish press prefers domestic players to international ones. For this reason, you should ensure that your stories have a Danish angle, for example by using a Danish spokesperson, expert opinions from a Dane, or Danish figures and statistics. This will significantly increase the interest that Danish journalists take in your company.

Similarly, it is worth mentioning that although the Nordic countries may look like one uniform entity from the outside, Danish media do not see “the Nordics” as a region in itself. Sweden is our oldest neighbour, but they are also our number 1 competitor – similar to the relationship Germany has with France.

#4 Follow this format when you want to get your story out

When you want to get a story out in Denmark, presentation matters. You need to choose the right format. You can pitch the story, you can write it as a column, or you can send out a press release.

At Publico, we most often lean towards the pitch rather than the press release. We do this with the important factor of journalistic integrity in mind.

Danish journalists take pride in shaping their own stories. This means that what you deliver to journalists must not be "too finished". Journalists can then protect their own integrity and create a story themselves based on your pitch.

Also, you need to consider that there is an upper limit for the number of stories that the press will write about a company. So, it is important that all pitches have a high news value and sharp relevance.

#5 When sending out a press release

The sharply-focused, well-written press release can still be a useful tool when your business wants to get a story out.

But coming up with a good press release is not as easy as it sounds. There is an art in choosing the right format, the right information/quotes, and the overall tone.

From their time on "the other side of the table", Publico's journalists know very well what can get reporters to take the bite or take a pass. Here are three of our tips for press releases in Denmark:

  1. The press release should be on one A4 page.
  2. The press release must not be too sales or marketing-like, but should speak to a wider (society) trends in Denmark.
  3. You can attach a case or factsheet, but the message should be brief and to the point.

This means that the classic American press releases will not work in Denmark as they are often:

  1. 5 pages long.
  2. more market and sales-oriented than we are used to in Denmark.
  3. about cases from places such as Ohio and Texas.

There is a very strong distinction between editorial coverage and corporate marketing, and journalists may react negatively if they perceive a press release as an obvious attempt at marketing or corporate branding.

#6 Press Ethics and Inaccuracies/Press Ethical Rules

The content and behaviour of Danish media must be in accordance with good journalistic practice. This means, among other things, that all messages must be correct. Incorrect information does sometimes occur, but you cannot expect to have minor errors or misunderstandings corrected, or alter reporting where the journalist has taken a different approach than you had hoped for, or has translated your corporate concepts into other terms that the target audience understands better.

In fact, it is only the very serious errors that are corrected in Danish media. This means it is essential to provide journalists with a well-planned and precise pitch.

Read more about the Press Ethical Rules here: https://www.pressenaevnet.dk/press-ethical-rules/

#7 Make sure you are published regularly

As an international company, you want to increase awareness of your company in Denmark and gain sympathy in a new market. To do this, we recommend a regular flow of activities which are also regularly published. That is why our customers often have retainer agreements - an ongoing framework agreement with fixed monthly allocated hours for press work.

This is where Publico acts a value-creating, professional intermediary. We are the ones who can tell you and your business how to communicate - and in what format - so the media will take up the story. We understand the Danish context and know what is going on in the country. This allows us to better help your business in the media when we see openings.

We evaluate from story to story whether it is better to run a solo story for a single journalist on a selected media outlet, or send it out to a wider audience and then personally follow up with the editors. At Publico, we know the media, we know the target audience, and we have built up solid, long-lasting relationships with journalists in the Danish media landscape.

In some cases, we can also help arrange for journalists to visit, for example, trade shows, conferences or other newsworthy events.

FACT: Danish media likes and dislikes

 

LIKES

  • Stories about visions
  • Forward thinking
  • Investments in Denmark
  • Local Danish cases
  • Successful start-ups and enterprises
  • Danish companies succeeding internationally
  • Interesting leader figures
  • Transitions and journeys from A to B.
  • Brief and sharply-focused pitches and press releases

DISLIKES

  • Stories about new products
  • Pushy marketing/companies talking about themselves
  • Overstated endorsements from company spokespersons
  • Denmark losing in competition
  • User cases from companies far from Denmark
  • Having articles corrected after publishing.
  • Long and generic press releases

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Publico is a specialist in communication for knowledge-intensive B2B companies, and is a Danish PR partner for a number of internationally recognised brands in industries such as the IT and financial sectors. Can we also help your company with PR in Denmark? Then contact Client Service Director Thomas Mandrup at thomas.mandrup@publico.dk or +45 2715 7092.