MuckRack’s New Survey Reveals How PR Pros View Media Outreach
The most important factor when pitching media – is it timeliness or having a catchy subject line in an email?
Or is it being pithy and to the point? Or is it having quotes from a spokesperson?
According to a recent survey of PR pros by MuckRack, State of PR 2022, it’s pitching a subject that is relevant to the journalist’s beat.
Overall, 34% of respondents said relevancy was the most important aspect of a pitch, and this makes sense.
A reporter who covers smartphones and apps wants to receive news about Apple’s new focus on health technology or Uber Eats latest advancement in grocery delivery.
It also makes sense then that 22% of PR pros said that a customized pitch is their number one factor when trying to get a journalist to pursue a story. In a way, relevancy and customization of pitches strongly overlap and angles of pitches can be tailored ever so slightly to meet the needs of various reporters.
Take Airbus’s recent announcement of Project Blue Condor, which will see the aerospace company measuring “hydrogen combustion’s impact on contrail properties. The result of this analysis will provide critical information on aviation’s non-CO2 emissions, including contrails and NOx, in advance of the ZEROe demonstrator flight testing.”
Sure, that’s an aviation related topic, but it can also be customized for reporters that focus on pollution, air travel, innovation and much more. It does take a bit of effort to customize each pitch for each reporter, but that is time well spent if it results in a media placement or two.
MuckRack also found that:
- 14% of PR pros said a catchy subject line was important
- 10% said a pitch containing images, videos and/ or infographics
- 6% said the headline should contain data/ statistics
- 5% said quotes from a spokesperson
- 5% also said timeliness
- 4% said the pitch should be short
When compared to journalists’ take on being pitched, MuckRack found in its State of Journalism 2022 survey that 24% of media said bad timing is why they would reject a pitch. This was followed by 22% saying a lack of personalization of a pitch.
In addition, an overwhelming number of PR pros said pitching individually by email was their top preference for media outreach.
Overall, 76% said this was effective for pitching journalists, while 28% said Twitter, 26% said the phone, 21% said mass email, and 20% said a newswire.
Other notable stats MuckRack shared from its survey:
- 77% of PR pros like to pitch media in the morning, which is a good sign since 67% of journalists prefer to receive pitches in the morning;
- 43% of respondents said they prefer to pitch journalists on Tuesday, though most journalists said Monday is their preferred day;
- 4 or more media types are pitched, with online, newspapers and magazines being the most popular; and
- 57% of pitches are 200 words or less.
With more than 20 years of history as one of D.C.’s premier PR firms, Xenophon recognizes and understands the nuances that go behind the development of a strong media relations campaign – one that targets the right journalists, with the right news, and the right messages in every pitch.
For more information on our media relations practice and how we can best serve your communications goals, please visit us at: https://xenophonstrategies.com/services/media-relations/.