As most public relations professionals know, there have been incredible changes with media in just the past few years forcing even the most experienced marketing experts to learn a new normal in pitching and securing stories.
Traditional news sources have increased competition and recognize that any social media post can become viral becoming “news” in just minutes, more often beating even a journalist with 30+ years to a story. We no longer need to wait until the 5 o’clock newscast or read the morning paper to get our news; it’s at our fingertips 24/7.
But the changes are deeper than what we can see externally, and those of us who work in media relations every day should be aware of how changes affect the journalists and their news sources.
Recently, MuckRack released its State of Journalism 2022 report which shared some of these profound changes that public relations professionals should be aware of and can share with their C-suite when asked why the organization is not gaining as much visibility as it did in the past. Following we’ve shared some of MuckRack’s findings as well as our insight of how to work through – and with – these challenges to better engage with media for your organization.
Journalists now cover an average of four beats, up from three just last year.
This means there’s very few “specialists” on topics/areas and they each have less time to understand/cover a topic. Be sure to provide additional insight/background to help them do their job. You still need to be authentic in your approach, journalists have a “spin-meter” (you can replace that word with a deluge of others, but since this is a family friendly blog, we’ll settle for that one) and will see your less-than-honest pitch a mile away. And if they do, good luck getting any response from them in the future.
Journalists are spending more time on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube than ever before.
We work with and encourage clients to leverage these tools even more to reach reporters, including following and engaging with the reporters themselves on each platform before you ever make a pitch. The social media efforts provide you an opportunity to get to know each reporter better and their interests and perspectives.
Journalists are consulting a company’s social media pages now when preparing a story.
In the past, a company’s information was posted only (if at all) on its website. Today, each organization should consider your social media channels as another source to share your news – from new employees to new products/services to customer testimonials and beyond. Ensuring a depth of topical and newsworthy information shared on the social platforms is key.
Online newspapers and Twitter are where reporters are tuning in for news.
News never stops, and we’re always looking for potential connections. In today’s fast-paced world, we can’t wait for the national evening news or the hard copy version of the daily newspaper. Identify trends and opportunities as they build across a network of formal and informal information channels.
More journalists are tracking where their articles are being shared online.
Make the reporter the “hero” by highlighting the articles on the client’s social pages and tagging the outlet and reporter.
At Chartwell, we try to ensure we are covering all the bases as it relates to proactively pitching/securing stories. We remain avid on how on to best work with media for the most impactful outcomes for our clients. If you are seeking additional coverage for your organization or more insight on how to better work with media, call upon Chartwell to assist.