Originally published on Joyce Bosc’s LinkedIn: Aug. 17, 2021
We always look forward to new industry surveys being released, so you can imagine our excitement when we reviewed Cision’s 12th annual Global State of the Media Report! As a global leader in PR technology and intelligence, Cision surveyed over 2,700 journalists in 15 countries to gain deeper insights into the current media landscape. We couldn’t wait to dig in!
It was no surprise, Cision’s study confirms that today’s journalists are overworked and overwhelmed. Every day they have to sift through a 24-hour barrage of emails, texts, tweets and blogs, searching for stories that will drive readership, traffic and social shares.
So, what does that mean for you? How can you make your company’s story stand out against the competition and get a journalist’s attention?
To help, here are a few recommendations from the survey:
1. Make the Journalist’s Job Easier
With journalists covering multiple beats and writing multiple stories a week, the more you can do to be relevant to their audience and be respectful of their time, the more success you will have. Today’s journalists are looking for press releases with original research, professional graphics and invitations to interview experts or attend events.
2. Understand the Journalist’s Challenges
As is true with PR and marketing pros, journalists are now under pressure to prove their value using hard data such as views, engagements and demographics. In fact, 59% of journalists agree that the availability of detailed audience metrics has changed the way they evaluate stories. Before you send a pitch, ask yourself, “is my story engaging and truly newsworthy?”
3. Do Your Homework in Advance
Journalists recommend doing your homework before contacting them. Research them and their beats, the publication itself and its target audience to make sure your pitch makes sense. Otherwise, your great story idea will end up in the trash folder and most likely count against you as spam. (Journalists are just like us; they despise spam in their inbox, too!)
4. Give Them What They Want
According to the study, more than one in four journalists receive over 100 pitches per week! Unfortunately, most of those end up deleted due to irrelevance. As one journalist said, “99% of those emailing me have never even read a story I wrote.”
They also recommend that you give them time before following up. Many journalists want two-to-three days (or even longer) to look over a pitch before the sender follows up.
5. Always Deliver on What You Promise
The journalists surveyed also expressed frustration with people’s lack of follow-through. A good rule of thumb is to not send a press release without being prepared to quickly put the reporter in touch with your expert if and when they ask.
6. Avoid Journalists’ Pet Peeves
Lastly, be sure to avoid these instant deal breakers:
- Providing inaccurate or unsourced information.
- Sending pitches that sound like marketing brochures.
- Failing to respond in a timely manner or canceling an interview at the last minute.
Please keep in mind: as the global media landscape continues to evolve, so do journalists’ needs and expectations. But the fundamentals of thoughtful, targeted storytelling and follow-through remain the same – and are always appreciated.
To download the full Global State of the Media report by Cision, please click here.