A Look at 2022 State of the Media
As companies have transitioned through the pandemic, many have weathered and navigated economic and workforce challenges. In news media, journalists have felt this squeeze in the form of smaller editorial staffs and lack of resources despite an ever-growing demand for faster, more accurate coverage.
As journalists continue to adjust amid industry obstacles, there is an opportunity for marketing and communications professionals to evaluate their own roles to ensure alignment. Cision shared some insights that can help bridge this relationship in its 2022 State of the Media report with survey responses from more than 3,000 reporters from around the world.
Contending with a loss of public trust has been one of the biggest hurdles for journalists to deal with this past year. Nearly a third of those surveyed in Cision’s report said that maintaining credibility as a trusted new source and combating accusations of “fake news” was their biggest challenge in 2021. It was, by far, the top answer chosen by respondents.
So, what can PR practitioners and marketers do to help? Having empathy and understanding in the approach with reporters can be a good starting point. Journalists are looking to establish relationships with honest, transparent sources while their time is spread thin. Providing relevant, factual materials and adhering to deadlines can help foster mutually beneficial relationships.
Don’t ‘@’ Me
Though journalists frequently use social media, Cision’s survey showed that it isn’t necessarily the right place for PR pitches. The report found that less than 25% of journalists deem it acceptable to receive a pitch via social media. In fact, 12% reported that a PR pro reaching out on social media was grounds for blocking the user altogether.
Nevertheless, social media can still serve as powerful PR tool. Following and interacting authentically with journalists or publications can be a great relationship building tactic. Sharing or replying to stories with key insights or commentary also helps demonstrate industry expertise with journalists and target audiences. The practice can help build long-term credibility which can lead to story collaborations.
Lend a Hand
PR practitioners find value in their relationships with reporters and ultimately the feeling is mutual. In fact, 18% of journalists reported that their relationships with PR pros grew more valuable this past year. And if you’re wondering how to strengthen this connection or secure more earned media opportunities, you might start with a simple question: “What can I do to make their life easier?”
Cision asked the question above directly to journalists in its latest survey. Here are the top five tips that came back in responses:
- “Understand my target audience, and what they find relevant.”
- “Provide me with data and expert sources when I need them.”
- “Stop spamming me.”
- “Provide a list of upcoming stories they have planned to see what I’m interested in.”
- “Provide short pitches with quick facts that enable me to produce short-form content quickly.”
A Look Ahead
In the evolving media landscape, there’s plenty of opportunity for PR practitioners to provide value. Media outlets tend to have shorter staffs now with reporters covering multiple beats that are constantly looking for reliable information and ideas. To be a resource, marketing and PR teams should build a solid knowledge for their media targets and understand the needs of reporters before approaching them.
Getting the right story in front of the right journalist at the right time can be a challenge. If your organization is looking for new ideas or a fresh approach to media relations, feel free to give us a shout and connect with our team.