The Go-To Event for Becoming Journalists' Go-To Source

Join us for Cision’s first-ever State of the Media Summit, where we gather some of the biggest names in media to provide their perspective on the current landscape, help us unpack the lessons learned from last year (a.k.a. the year that shall not be named) and discuss opportunities to move forward together.  Oh yeah, and of course you're going to hear what journalists thought of the State of the Media Report. 

This interactive, two-day event will address topics such as:

  • What journalists really want to write about in 2021
  • Creating a data-driven media relations strategy that gets results
  • Using multimedia to drive engagement and storytelling
  • Social listening and the future of PR
  • Why targeted media outreach is more critical than ever

PLUS you'll have the chance to attend a vertical-specific breakout session to discuss pressing industry trends and challenges, as well as a chance to get live pitching feedback from media pros. (Hint: You've seen America's Got Talent, right?)


Summit Agenda & Session Details:

Day One

Welcome + State of the Media LIVE

To pitch or not to pitch, that is the question! Actually, the question is more like, “How can I create a better pitch?” Or “What kind of stories do journalists want right now?” Or “When is it okay to follow up after a pitch? Is now too soon? Ok...What about now?”  Get the answers to these questions and more during our 12th annual State of the Media LIVE Summit. 

We’ll dive in and discuss findings from the 2021 State of the Media Report such as: 

  • Why public trust in the media is still a major challenge
  • Why Censorship remains a significant concern 
  • Why it’s important for your story to have the “it factor”
  • Why reaching out to targeted media is more critical than ever
  • What journalists want from PR
  • What to know before following up

Speakers include:

  1. Gabrielle Canon, The Guardian 
  2. Monica Zurowski, Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun
  3. Frank Washkuch - PRWeek
  4. Maggie Lower, Cision (moderator)

Breakout Sessions:


 State of Travel & Tourism Media


COVID-19 was globally polarizing across multiple industries, forcing consumers to change habits instantly and drastically. One industry that was dramatically impacted was travel and tourism, forced to remain at a standstill over the last year. During this session we will meet with three of the industry’s experts, discover potential trends on the horizon, discuss the road to recovery and best practices for communications professionals.

We’ll discuss: 

  • How COVID-19 continues to impact travel journalism
  • The stories journalists are most interested in (and most tired of)
  • Why journalists are focused on stories that address return to travel and what the future holds
  • How you can make your travel campaign stand out
  • How to get the timing right to pitch your travel campaign

Speakers include:

  1. Johanna Jainchill, Travel Weekly 
  2. Jennifer Kester, Forbes Travel Guide 
  3. Hannah Sampson, The Washington Post 


 State of Healthcare Media


Given the global health crisis of the past year and its continued impact on daily life, healthcare media has been of increased importance for people trying to understand the state of the pandemic and what to expect going forward. This session is focused on understanding the state of the healthcare media and what journalists covering related beats need from their PR partners. Three health-focused journalists will help us unpack key data points from Cision’s recent report, answering questions and providing their own take on where things are headed.

Key talking points: 

  • How the conversation around COVID-19 continues to evolve
  • How healthcare and technology are intersecting right now and where PR fits 
  • How to hone in on your targeting strategy

Speakers include:

  1. Alexi Cohan, Boston Herald 
  2. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA Today 
  3. Carly Weeks, Globe & Mail


 State of Tech Media


Have you ever wondered how tech journalists plan their week? What to write about? What’s trending? How they know which companies to follow? Tech is a constant changing landscape, and we are ready to give you the inside scoop on all these questions and more! 

During our State of Tech Media Session we’ll discuss: 

  • The stories tech journalists are hungriest for right now
  • Why sustainability and CSR initiatives are top of mind for tech
  • How tech and COVID are crossing over – and where PR fits in
  • How tech companies are helping transform data security

Speakers include:

  1. John Biggs, Editor in Chief, Gizmodo 
  2. Patrick O’Rourke, Managing Editor, MobileSyrup 
  3. Douglas Soltys, Editor in Chief, BetaKit  
  4. Shruti Shekar, Senior Tech Reporter, Android Central


 State of Retail & E-commerce Media


A year removed from the retail world turning upside down - temporary changes to the retail experience have become more permanent, eCommerce presence is a necessity for retailers of all sizes, and corporations are increasingly held to account on social justice issues. How do we reframe the way retail and consumer trends are covered?

Join us for this breakout session as we discuss: 

  • Opportunities for small business to differentiate themselves from larger competitors
  • Why PR needs to pay attention to eCommerce forecasting and trends along with promoting unique in store experiences
  • The types of stories retail journalists want right now 
  • The future of retail & CPG in the COVID-19 era

Speakers include:

  1. Ben Unglesbee, Retail Dive  
  2. Áine Cain, Business Insider


 State of Financial Services Media


Let’s talk finance (journalism)! During this session we’ll discuss current topics and trends impacting financial services organizations from the perspective of prominent financial media journalists! Learn what they are seeing and predicting in this space, and how your efforts can better resonate with their challenges.

We’ll discuss: 

  • Why focusing on business financial status during COVID-19 is important 
  • How are financial services organizations representing themselves on the front lines of corporate governance and broader ESG issues right now?
  • What to know before pitching financial journalists 
  • Finance 101 for PR pros

Speakers include:

  1. Geoff Rogow, WSJ
  2. Barbara Shecter, National Post

General Session: PR’s Got Talent

Do you ever wish you could pick a journalist’s brain about how your pitch could have been better? Here’s your chance! 

Join us for the first ever PR’s Got Talent, where three lucky PR pros will get the chance to showcase their pitching expertise to the people that matter most, the media! 

Contestants will be judged on three key categories: 

  • Pitch originality 
  • Journalist & outlet research
  • Use of multimedia and inclusion of essential assets

Speakers include:

  1. Nicole Schuman, PRNEWS
  2. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine
  3. Sarah Paynter, New York Post

Day Two

Welcome + Fireside Chat: How Data-Driven Media Relations Gets Results

“I want our story in the Wall Street Journal (or insert publication of choice)!” - Every Executive Team

How many times have PR professionals heard this age-old request? Getting a big placement is a huge win, but what did that really drive for your brand? Does your audience read that publication? Do you have data that can prove the story placement was a success? Join us for a fireside chat with Daniel Neal, Director of Corporate Intelligence at AT&T to discuss how the telecom, tech and media giant drives results with data-driven media relations and communications strategies.

You’ll learn:

  • Targeted outreach- finding the balance of outlets that are most relevant to your business and write about your organization in a positive way.
  • Ok great we got this, but what did it do for us- did we meet the expectations of our fellow team members and the board/leadership team?
  • Overcoming challenges/key learnings and planning for what’s next- is your organization too technical/niche? Can you find your single source of truth?

Speakers include:

  1. Daniel Neal, Director, Corporate Intelligence, AT&T
  2. Brad Willard, Cision (Moderator)

Beyond Impressions: How “Pandemic PR” Drives Deeper Results

In the last-minute rush of planning an earned media strategy and corralling the C-Suite to approve your press release, creative content and a fresh approach to PR can be overlooked. If you want to see how you can double down on your campaign strength and secure more placements, boost reach and increase chances of media pickup – this session is for you. 

Cision’s 2021 State of the Media Report results are clear. Journalists need your help cutting through the noise of mediocre content to spot the diamond. Learn how to go beyond a traditional press release to attract journalists and consumers to their important news.

In this session we will discuss how to:

  • Bring your story to life with multimedia so your pitch isn’t DOA in a reporter’s inbox.
  • Create interactive content for your press release to engage readers and gain audience insights.
  • Localize your story and leverage broadcast affiliates to drive awareness and brand credibility.
  • Use editorialized sponsored posts to test what storylines resonate.

Breakout Sessions:


 Cision Innovation Session: Journalist Relationship Management vs Database


Learn about the latest, easy-to-use tools available on the market today that are changing the game when it comes journalist outreach. Thinking holistically about relationship management can improve everything from journalist selection to team management to outreach. 

This session will discuss topics like:

  • Enabling audience-focused journalist lists
  • Creating cohesive team outreach programs
  • Targeted follow-up journalist campaigns for better coverage
  • How you can start creating better relationships with journalists


 Cision Innovation Session: Campaign Strategy: Is the Future of Comms a Full Lifecycle Campaign?


Technology is changing the PR landscape. It’s time to rethink and redefine what a comms campaign should be. 

This session will dive deep into how Cision is using technology to power a new wave of campaign planning and execution. You’ll walk away with an understanding of:

  • The impact of data effective campaign planning
  • How combining tactics affects outcomes
  • Why PR needs to consider metrics with outreach – and where to start

Keynote: Is Social the Future of Media?

Staying on top of emerging trends is part of every PR professionals job description. Managing how your brand is perceived by the market is everyday work...but what about how your brand impacts your customers and prospects? How can you keep yourself from getting stuck in making your story only relevant to the media?

Social has made it easier than ever for your audience to stay up to date on your organization, so how can your organization use it to get to know your customer base?

Join Cision and as we discuss Is Social the Future of Media – a conversation that will push you to think beyond getting coverage and think about the end user. We’ll discuss:

  • The evolution of PR and social as part of your comms strategy
  • How to leverage your employees as ambassadors for your brand
  • The importance of deeper social listening
  • How to make your story relevant beyond the media

Speakers include:

  1. Dan Chessa,
  2. Will McInnes, Brandwatch

View the State of the Media Summit

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