As much as we’d love to chalk 2020 up to a bad fever dream, the events of last year continue to have an impact on our personal and professional lives. Cision’s 12th annual State of the Media report, a survey of over 2,700 journalists worldwide, sheds light on how these challenges present themselves among members of the media – and the impact on their relationships with PR pros.
So, what’s weighing on journalists’ minds the most these days? And more importantly, what does it mean for you, as a PR pro? We pulled some of the most revealing insights they shared and broke them down for you – by the numbers.
The minimum number of pitches 28% of journalists say they get in a week on average.
“That’s too bad, but what does this have to do with me?” you’re wondering.
Glad you asked. Make your story stand out with a compelling headline, unique story angle that is relevant to their audience, original research, multimedia elements that add flavour to your story and any other critical details. Journalists have little to no time to follow up, so the easier you make their jobs, the more likely they are to cover your story.
One quarter (or less)
The amount of pitches the vast majority of journalists (69%) receive that are actually relevant to their audiences.
The takeaway: Do your homework to make sure the story or product you’re pitching makes sense for the journalists you’re targeting and (more importantly) their audiences. Google their names, read their articles and customise your message accordingly.
5 or more
The number of beats 45% journalists say they cover now.
The takeaway: Number one, don’t take it personally if a journalist doesn’t reply to your pitch. They're already stretched a mile wide, and their priorities may be elsewhere. Number two, give journalists enough information to write a story upfront. It will save both of you time going back and forth.
The number of journalists who want original research from PR pros.
The lesson: If you have compelling data that no one else can provide, you’re that much more likely to get your story covered.
The amount of tolerance journalists have for:
a) Pitches that sound like marketing brochures and b) PR pros who won’t…stop…following up. (You know who you are.) The takeaway: Write pitches that sound like they’re coming from a human being – not a bot. And give journalists some breathing room (they're busy enough as it is). If they have questions, they’ll reach out (just make sure you leave them an easy contact number).
The amount of pressure journalists are under to file stories that get as much visibility and engagement as possible (a.k.a. the kind of attention that drives ad revenue).
The lesson: PR pros need to anticipate, monitor and quickly act on the trending stories journalists are hungry for. But also make sure your pitch has that “it” factor that will translate to traffic and social shares. (Hint: Including compelling data, expert quotes and multimedia elements will only help with that.)