Cision, a communications platform helping public relations and marketing professionals around the world understand, influence and amplify their stories, released its annual State of the Media report with responses from more than 3800 journalists from 17 global markets to understand challenges faced in a marketplace that is rapidly evolving, and how public relations can support first-rate and trustworthy reporting.
According to the report, journalists’ biggest challenge is maintaining credibility as a trusted news source (32 per cent) and combating accusations of “fake news.”
A close second, journalists cite the impact that smaller staffs and fewer resources are having on their workloads. In fact, three in 10 journalists (29 per cent) are filing 10 or more stories per week.
Nicole Gulliot, Cision COO and president of PR Newswire said: “It’s no longer a journalist’s job to just deliver the news, and that opens the door for professional communicators to successfully partner with the media to ensure stories are being told in a fast, effective and relevant manner.”
What Journalists Want from PR Pros
When it comes to the sources journalists find most useful for generating stories or story ideas, more than a third of journalists (37 per cent) cited press releases, making it the top answer. More than three quarters (76 per cent) want to receive press releases from brands and PR pros over any other type of content. Trends and market data rank second (63 per cnet) and nearly half (49 per cent) want event invitations.
“Press releases still reign supreme and are the preferred method of delivering news to the media in a legitimate, thoughtful and urgent way,” said Gulliot.
In order to create stronger relationships with reporters, PR pros must be aware of the following:
- Accurate and sourced information: Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) find it inexcusable to provide anything less, given the heightened criticism for credibility and audience trust.
- Stay on deadline: If they don’t feel like PR pros are respecting their time, a significant number of journalists (22 per cnet) say they won’t make time for those PR pros.
- Stop the spam: The vast majority of journalists (74 per cent) won’t tolerate “being spammed with irrelevant pitches,” which is all the more reason to make sure pitches are targeting the right media. In fact, only nine per cent of journalists say the majority of the pitches they receive are relevant.
- Include multimedia: images, videos and infographics: 22 per cent of journalists say publicists can make their jobs easier by providing such content in their pitches and press releases. More than half (54 per cent) say they are more likely to cover a story if the pitch includes multimedia up front.
“When it comes to the relationship between communications industry professionals and journalists, it’s all about easing the burden for the media,” said Guillot. “It starts with knowing the right journalists to speak to, building a partnership based on trust, and understanding the audience you are both trying to reach together.”
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