How the changing nature of journalism affects pitching
Cision’s recent State of the Media Report has provided helpful insights into the changing role of journalism and how to keep up with the evolving field of public relations.
With the media landscape continuing to evolve and as newsrooms continue to downsize, reporters now have to balance a wider array of beats as well as a rapid flow of news developments. This means reporters are fielding more pitches on topics they may know less about.
The report has provided knowledge for how PR professionals can keep up with the evolving journalism industry. According to the report, 48% of journalists polled are covering five or more beats and publishing 10 or more pieces a week.
Journalists’ inboxes are full of junk pitches, with 69% saying only a quarter or less of the pitches they receive are actually relevant. In order to resonate with journalists, pitches need to be clear, concise and pertinent. Additionally, pitches should be easy to understand as reporters may not be subject matter experts on all the beats they are covering.
However, none of this information matters if you land on a journalist’s blocked list. The fastest way to do so is by constantly sharing irrelevant content and unnecessary follow ups. Understanding the journalist’s beat and audience is the most important step of the pitching process. To properly connect with a journalist, PR professionals should be engaging with their work and understand the type of information they draw from.
Accompanying pitches with multimedia content such as photos and videos makes stories more accessible and compelling. In today’s digital age, very few articles run without a multimedia component. In those pitches, most journalists are looking for either news, a unique data point or original research.
Appreciating the challenges that journalists face and the changing landscape of media as a whole is necessary to success in 2022. Reporters are stretched thin and for your pitch to grab the attention of a journalist, it needs to stand out amidst the monotony of inbox traffic that they receive.
A journalist that trusts a PR professional will return to them for future collaborations. By fostering relationships with the journalists that you pitch, the job becomes easier in the long run. The most important step in forming a relationship with a journalist is by sharing relevant information and delivering value to them.
Are you looking to invigorate your PR strategy and boost your brand identity? We would love to hear from you.