Mar 21, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

For our newest findings, check out the 2021 State of the Media Report!

Emerging technology continues to change the way readers consume the news and how media outlets report it.

Without understanding these changes, your ability to build relationships and secure earned media coverage will suffer. So how can you stay on the cutting edge of the news industry?

Cision’s State of the Media 2016 Report lists the four most important media trends, according to a survey of more than 300 journalists.

1. Mobile


Pew Research Center found that the number of Americans using smartphones increased from 35 percent to 64 percent between 2011 and 2015. Media outlets have taken note and have swiftly switched gears to maintain the attention of their current audiences and reach new ones.

This year’s report found that 92 percent of media outlets have or are currently adopting a mobile-friendly Web design. What impact does this have on communication professionals? They must reconsider how they create, distribute and pitch their thought leadership.

To increase the chances of getting coverage, those pitching major outlets like USA Today (whose readership is between 60 and 65 percent mobile) should make their information visually appealing, accessible and easy to read on a small screen.

2. Multimedia

Related to the rise of mobile, multimedia was this year’s second most important trend, according to 25.8 percent of journalists. Video- and image-based content fell slightly behind with 11.5 percent marking it as the most important.

Carol Ladwig of Snoqualmie Valley Record says, “video- and image-based and multimedia (content) all provide more access points into a story, for more diverse readership.” This explains why almost half (48.9 percent) of journalists now incorporate this type of content into their work.

Multimedia content, such as infographics or Slideshare presentations, will help you stand out from other brands pitching the same old standardized template.


3. Native Advertising

While mobile and multimedia continued on an upward trajectory, native advertising’s importance fell. A little under a quarter (24.6 percent) of journalists identified it positively, compared to 43 percent last year.

Understandably, those working for digital outlets sided more strongly with this revenue-generating source, than those covering stories for traditional print outlets.

While opinions conflict, Cision’s Media Research Team, as well as most media professionals, predict an upcoming native ads boom as many traditional print publications continue to evolve.

Brands should continue to monitor and measure their efforts to determine what type of advertising works best for their business objectives and target audiences.

4. Social Media


Live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat introduced a new way to cover events, generating a lot of buzz around real-time news, while bigger platforms like Facebook and Twitter added new publishing tools to attract journalists.

While only 9 percent of journalists found social media to be the most important trend, the large majority of those surveyed use social platforms for a variety of reasons.

Looking specifically at Twitter, 21 percent of journalists believe it will grow in value the most in the next year and are already relying on it as a reporting tool.

As social continues to expand, brands should use their media database to determine which platforms their target journalists are on and social listening tools to see how they’re using them.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.