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Do journalists want to be pitched by social media? Here’s what they had to say

EmailphoneIn our annual Vocus State of the Media Report survey on journalists’ relationship with social media, we asked the question: “Are you open to receiving story pitches via social media?”

While our general results overwhelmingly showed that journalists still prefer to be pitched via email, a number of media professionals were open to pitches and communication via social media channels as an alternative to email, but only if done correctly. Since we couldn’t fit all respondents’ responses in the report, here’s a selection of answers to the above question.

National online reporter, enterprise, security and Internet

No, because then everyone can see it. DM [direct message] on Twitter or message on Facebook would be fine, but email would be faster during regular business hours.

Local newspaper reporter, White Rock neighborhood in Dallas

Yes, via Facebook because it’s easier to carry on a conversation with someone and you know who you are talking to. Not really open to receiving pitches via Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.

National online reporter, entertainment

It’s much faster and easier if people email us. We don’t monitor social media 24/7, so breaking news can be delayed if it is submitted that way. It’s also harder to track the conversation history on social media compared to a good email client or service.

National/regional online/magazine reporter, architecture, urbanism, art, design

Yes. Why not, indeed? It always needs to be vetted, but it’s a good way to connect with a wide audience [who may be] otherwise hard or time-consuming to reach.

Local/regional newspaper/online reporter

No. Twitter is too limiting for most writers to pitch compellingly, and Facebook is generally how I promote myself or find sources, not search for story ideas.

Local newspaper editor

Yes, but it opens up a whole other dialogue on good story pitches. I don’t care where they come from, but they better be good and focused.

Local/regional/national TV reporter, the Texas Panhandle

Absolutely. As a sports journalist I am given ideas via social media from the public sharing special stories with me, and then I tell those stories to our viewers.

Regional TV reporter

Yes. It’s all about the viewers. Whatever they’re up to or doing is great for us to cover. The more stories we have to choose from, the better.

Local/regional radio, Wisconsin sports

Not really—I am happy with how I use social media. I’d rather see story pitches over email. So, messages over Facebook would be OK. Not enough characters on Twitter to pitch a guest.

Local/regional/national radio, Southern California

Yes, I think. It is hard to say what the long-term effect of my social media experience will be if my Facebook instant message or Twitter Direct Message box becomes packed with pitches like my email box is now. I routinely miss important emails as it is now because they are buried within the stack of “story ideas.” I think a more elegant solution is ahead of us, I just don’t know what it is yet.


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