Now in its thirteenth year, the latest ‘Global State of the Media Report’, published by PR and Marketing intelligence company Cision, provides us with fresh insights into the media and what PR professionals can do to exploit opportunities and strengthen their relationships in 2022.
With analysis drawn from over 3,800 journalists worldwide, spanning across 2,000+media outlets, the report is a key industry benchmark for any PR pro or marketing manager – and having covered the last report in 2021, we clearly think so too!
Once again, we’ve gone through the annual report with a fine-tooth comb and selected four key Global State of the Media takeaways to be aware of in 2022:
- The perfect pitch begins with relevance, personalization and credibility
They’re hard pressed by work levels. As with many other sectors, the world of journalism is having to deal with long-term staff and resource shortages. In an effort to keep up with the never-ending news cycle, journalists are multitasking on multiple levels: 43% of journalists surveyed said they cover five or more beats, while 29% must file ten or more stories per week – that is a hefty editorial backlog to clear week-on-week! The need for PR pros to provide clear, specific and targeted communications has never been greater – or indeed more appreciated under these new pressures.
They’re hard pressed by trashy pitches. So how can PR pros win over these busy journalists? With nearly half of journalists receiving more than 50 pitches per week, one of their biggest annoyances is getting spammed with irrelevant pitches. This was identified by 74% of respondents as something they just won’t tolerate. This couples with 63% of respondents saying that PR pros who understand their publication’s target audience help make their job easier.
Pitches must be relevant and contain accurate information or risk being earmarked for the trash! So, PR pros and marketing managers take note – always do your research, personalize your pitch and ensure that every contact on your outreach list would find the content relevant to their specific audience.
- The need for speed – time is of the essence
Journalists are often working to tight deadlines and have to move quickly. So PR pros who don’t need to report on results to their clients for another week or so, misunderstand or ignore time-sensitive deadlines can sour future relations. Note – one in four journalists admit to blocking a contact who fails to respond to them within a given deadline. It’s important for communication professionals to be able to respect deadlines and respond quickly – and remember if you are able to turn an asset around in record time when the journalist is in a pinch, you are more likely to be top of their list when new opportunities appear down the line.
For this exact reason, the team at IBA always adopt a content-led approach. If a journalist is looking for a quick response for an upcoming feature with a short lead time, the team is ready and set to repurpose any asset and get it across ASAP. Take it from us that proactivity always pays off!
- Journalism goes viral, but hold back on those DMs
With platforms such as TikTok seeing a five-fold growth in certain countries such as the U.S., 2022 seems to be the year for further jumping on the social media bandwagon. Whether it’s colleagues sharing their accomplishments online or learning about new opportunities, every professional is getting in on the action and journalists are no exception! Worldwide, Facebook is the platform journalists use most often for professional reasons (63%), but this is followed closely by Twitter (59%) and LinkedIn (56%).
So the questions remains, how social is the Media? And are new networking opportunities opening up for PR pros? With 20% of journalists using social media to publish/promote content and only 5% using it to receive PR pitches – it suggests that an active journalist on social media isn’t always open to be reached out to on this platform. At least for now, ‘traditional’ outreach rules remain – with one in three journalists preferring to not be contacted via social media and 12% even going so far as to block a PR pro who slides into their DMs!
PR pros will have better success using social platforms to provide clues on key topics journalists are covering. With a better gauge of a journalist’s likes and dislikes, communication pros can take the next step to create targeted pitches.
To learn more about how effective social media strategies can be incorporated into your campaigns – why not check out our article on the role of TikTok in B2B Marketing, which has been published by media outlets across the U.S. and UK, including AiThority, Social Songbird and WARC.
- Long live the power of the press release
For all the changes the media has undergone in recent years, one thing remains the same – the power of the press release. A perennial favorite, the press release is one of the most powerful vehicles for delivering information to the right journalists, and 2022 is no different: 76% of journalist put press releases in the top spot for the type of content they want to receive most from brands and PR pros. But despite its success, sending a press release isn’t a sure-fire way to attract the journalist’s attention – like all PR activities, the delivery and format matter.
With one in two journalists saying they may even block a PR if their pitches sound too much like marketing and not enough like actual news, PR pros have to get it right first time round or risk being swiftly deleted from inboxes. The best performing press releases are those that avoid the clichés, jargon and clickbait-sounding subject lines.
The report found that a massive eight out of ten recipients only read the press release headline, so get straight to the point and include key words that can get your message across in as few words as possible!
‘Quid pro quo’ – the makings of a long-term media partnership
Communication is always a two-way street – and the same applies to every PR and media interaction. With 18% of journalists saying their relationships with PR professionals have become more valuable, 2022 is the year to explore these new opportunities. The more PR pros can do to help journalists work efficiently and effectively, from personalized pitching to being considerate with deadlines and interaction preferences, the better partners they become – and the more coverage achieved in the long run!
Hannah Watson is PR Executive at IBA International.