We always look forward to reading Cision’s annual report - there’s so much ‘food for thought’ to help us better engage with the media and our journalist contacts - and educate our clients.
Just as the media landscape is continually evolving, PR is also undergoing a rapid change - particularly over the last few years. Media outlets have fewer resources, budget and staff; this means communications professionals need to be even savvier with the content we pitch.
Nowadays, there’s much less daily or weekly news, replaced with real-time updates often populated by RSS feeds and rehashing what’s trending on social media. Many feature opportunities - particularly in trade titles - have been lost as media outlets respond to audience demand for immediate, real-time content. Appointment pages have pretty much disappeared. Opinions (especially outspoken ones) dominate.
However, there are still many clever ways to get media attention and secure mentions and press coverage.
The key trends identified in the report:
40% of media reported relying more on data to inform editorial strategies
68% said they wanted data – in the form of original research, such as trends and market data
66% responded with “provide data and expert sources,” when asked specifically what communications professionals can do to make their jobs easier
37% won’t consider covering a product unless the pitch includes data showing trends and problems the product is solving for readers
Press releases that include multimedia elements get up to six times more engagement than press releases with text alone
66% use social media to source information
52% monitor social media using keywords and competitor outlets
Not only were “new and upcoming events” cited as the top way communicators provide value, 2 in 3 prefer to attend an event in person versus virtually.
Press releases are the #1 source for generating content or ideas, followed closely by industry experts and major wires.
57% say they will block a communications professional who sends them pitches that sound like marketing brochures. Avoid phrases like “industry-leading” and “innovative”.
Biggest challenges for the media
Lack of staff
Declining advertising income
Combined, these factors mean free earned PR is increasingly difficult. More media are pay-to-play or expect some form of commercial partnership. There is a need to take a more collaborative approach with the media rather than simply pitching specific stories.
Journalists want data. This forms the bedrock of credibility and editorial planning
Media are concerned about the critical nature of maintaining truth and accuracy, but optimistic about the transformational role of tech and data
Press releases are the #1 source for generating content or ideas and are also considered most trustworthy sources for media, followed closely by industry experts and major wires.
Journalists are researching beyond press releases and email pitches
Understanding the readership and editorial policy is essential
How should this inform your Media PR strategies?
Focus on expertise; what value can you add about current market behaviours? Ensure you have a spokesperson with ample availability for phone and in-person interviews, sharing knowledge and insights for the region
Provide insights and trends. Can you identify specific and interesting behaviours? Can you provide a data-led narrative for both macro and micro market activities?
Consider performance; what is the commercial impact on a specific or group of customers - and what is the context? (eg world events, social events or key dates)
ROI for your clients; what is the transparent financial benefit?
Use your owned channels - including social media - wisely. Media use it as a key resource yet will be turned off by too much blatant marketing
Don’t expect your products to get much free publicity - even when an outlet uses your data
Be creative in sourcing insights, and using polls and surveys
Be savvy with investment; create high-quality hard hitting PR campaigns timed to coincide with advertising and other activity to maximise the impact on your audience
Work with a PR consultant who knows the audience you are targeting, creates specific pitches and content for the media, and leverages any paid relationships to get the most out of your investment
Ensure you have multimedia and specific imagery for all press releases and content pitches
Focus on the readership and their needs, not your own marketing goals
Haynes MarComs constantly moves with the times to help our clients get mentions in the media and build relationships with journalists to expand their influence. We work with our clients to produce content that resonates with target audiences and is customised to key publications’ readers. We supercharge the media impact by supporting our clients with social media strategies which build our clients’ organisational profiles and utilising owned channels to reinforce key messages.
Arrange a call with the team to find out how we can help your business make an impact with the media.