To Make Your Pitch Successful; Timing is Critical to Break Through the Clutter
Journalists Highlight Preferred Length, Best Day and Time to Pitch
Getting a media pitch placed with a reporter is great, but it isn’t always easy. If it’s news, and for that matter, relevant news to a journalist, the chances are decent, but it’s not guaranteed since successful pitches can come down to timing and beating out other pitches for attention.
This is especially true now when the pandemic has and continues to be the biggest priority for reporters.
But even with perfect timing, most reporters, 61%, said they only use stories that originated from a pitch a quarter of the time, according to Muck Rack’s 2021 State of Journalism.
That’s not much considering 43% of journalists said they receive up to 5 pitches per day, or 25 a week if you look at it another way. Another 21% of journalists receive up to 10 per day, and 13% said they receive up to 20 pitches in a day.
Notably, 4% said they receive more than 50 pitches per day (that’s crazy). But regardless of how many pitches a reporter receives, it’s easy for a pitch to get lost in purgatory.
Looking at these odds, though they may seem dismal, can be improved if one follows the preferences of the journalists. This means recognizing that timing is essential. Day of the week, time of day and even the time it takes to read the pitch, all play a role in pitches being read by media.
Based on Muck Rack’s report:
- 94% of journalists said they prefer to receive pitches via email.
- 57% of journalists like to receive pitches on Monday.
- 20% of journalists said Tuesday (no other day received more than a 6% preference).
- 68% of journalists prefer to receive pitches between 5 AM and 12 PM EST.
- 91% of journalists prefer pitches that are under 200 words.
- 46% of journalists like pitches that are 1-200 words and 25% prefer pitches that are under 100 words.
- 46% of journalists also said they’re more likely to cover a story if it’s offered as an exclusive.
These data points are important to understanding how journalists operate and that they are open to working with PR pros and receiving pitches. Applying these preferences to media outreach may not guarantee a story placement, but it can be helpful.