In our ongoing exploration of the current state of earned media, this second installment of Xenophon Strategies’ blog shares PR professionals’ views on varying difficulties of securing media coverage across different platforms. The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) survey provides a detailed landscape, highlighting the challenges faced in national, local, and trade media.
Part one of this series discussed the unanimous finding that securing earned media is more difficult than ever these days. Part two looks at how PR practitioners feel about earned media coverage in the three different publication types: National, Regional and Trade.
National and Top-Tier Media: The Toughest Nut to Crack
According to the survey’s respondents, securing earned media in national and top-tier outlets is the most challenging, scoring an average of 5 on an axis of 1 to 10. This highlights a substantial increase in the challenge of engaging these high-profile media outlets.
Local Media: A Surprisingly Close Second
Contrary to common assumptions, local media follows closely behind in difficulty, scoring 3 on the same scale. Several respondents even noted that local media coverage can be as challenging, if not more so, than national media. Factors like journalists at local outlets being spread thin and prioritizing selective stories contribute to this increased difficulty.
“When newsrooms are limited / understaffed, feature stories are not a priority. Instead, they’ll focus on crime and breaking news.”
Trade outlets are generally seen as the least challenging for securing coverage, but this doesn’t imply a guaranteed success. This space, though less competitive than national and local media, still demands strategic storytelling and a deep understanding of the trade audience.
What does this all mean for brands and PR professionals? The key lies in packaging your story. In a world where newsrooms are shrinking and feature stories take a backseat, a well-rounded, ready-to-publish story is your golden ticket. It’s about providing journalists with a narrative that’s not just compelling but also convenient – a story that requires minimal effort to transform into a publishable piece.
Crafting the Perfect Pitch
- Comprehensive Storytelling: Think of your pitch as a jigsaw puzzle that you’ve already solved for the journalist. Provide all the pieces – data, visuals, contacts – neatly packaged and ready to go.
- Exclusive Offers: Make your story stand out by offering it as an exclusive piece. This can significantly increase its appeal.
- Know Your Pitch: Distinguish clearly between what’s suitable for a quick social post and what deserves a full-fledged story pitch.
The power of creativity is emphasized even more these days. While the task of getting stories placed has become more demanding, the belief remains strong that good stories will always find a home.
If you’re facing challenges in this new era of earned media, Xenophon Strategies is here to assist. Our team of experienced PR professionals is adept at navigating the complexities of the current media landscape. Contact Xenophon Strategies today to elevate your media relations strategy and achieve your communication goals.