Minisode: How to Customize Your Pitch Angles for Journalists - Podcast Transcript Lexie Smith Hi…
Highlights from the State of Journalism Report 2022 by Muck Rack (Minisode) – Podcast Transcript
Episode 64 – Highlights from the State of Journalism Report 2022 by Muck Rack (Minisode)-Podcast Transcript
Speaker: Lexie Smith
You guys, it’s here. And I don’t know about you, but I am so excited. I anxiously await this report every year. Admittedly, if you don’t know this about me, I am a huge data nerd. So basically, this minisode is like Christmas morning to my PR heart. We’re going to dive into a recap of the state of journalism 2022 report by muck rack. First things first a bit about the report. So muck rack is PR software. No, they do not sponsor this podcast yet, permission to slide into my DMs muck rack. And with the help of a handful of esteemed research partners, they surveyed 2546 journalists from January 4 through the 25th of this year, so 2020 to 64 of those participants are full-time journalists, editorial writers, or bloggers. 19 are full-time freelance journalists and 12 create journalistic content but supplement their income with other work.
74% of journalists primarily report in online formats of those 41% report online with a print edition and 33% report online without a print edition. Click it. Let’s dive into a few highlights from section one of the report titled social media news consumption and reporting. When asked Do you feel that your audience’s trust in coverage of your area of journalism has increased or decreased in the past year, participants reported as follows 32% Say it has increased 47% said it’s about the same and 22% said it decreased. Next, when asked in general, where do you go first for your news? So these are again the participants. They answered 57% get their news from online newspapers or magazines and 18% get their news from Twitter. Next question. I like this one. When asked what social network is most valuable to you as a journalist, here’s the order they were ranked Okay, first place at 77% was Twitter. Second place Facebook at 39%. Third place LinkedIn at 24%. Fourth place Instagram at 17. And YouTube took fifth place at 16%. Journalists plan to spend more time on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube this year. If you’re already in the PR field, you know Twitter is king and queen year after year. But my entrepreneurs and clients time and time again are consistently surprised to hear this, which is why I am so grateful to have this study to reference. So they don’t think that I’m just some crazy lady. Another interesting stat for ya 60% of journalists consult a company’s social media in their reporting. So if you’re a brand or company and you don’t have a social presence or something you’re not focusing on, here’s evidence that it is to your benefit to get that sorted out if press coverage is on your wish list. When asked what makes a story more shareable and a better context for this one, it is a goal these days with digital media to get articles shared in fact, some journalists even get paid by paid Commission’s by the amount of Article shares I interviewed Brie amaranth this back in season two or season one I believe. And she she noted this, her outlets shareability dictated compensation. So long story short shareability matters. So what did journalists think make a story more shareable. 71% says the subject is connecting to a trending story. So again, if you can do that in your pitch, it’s going to be helpful. 65% contains an image or infographic 57% exclusive or surprising data. Next we have easily localized or relevant to a target audience. Then we start to drop down 25% contains video 20% brevity. 12% involves a social media influencer and last place at 8% quotes from a company spokesperson. So if you can pack your pitch full with some of those top tier shareability factors that’s going to be to your benefit. All right, now we’re going to dip our toes into section two On event coverage 53% of journalists plan to attend more in person events in 2022. They were also asked how likely are you to cover a virtual event in 2020 to 34% said they’re more likely to cover a virtual event. 46 said it doesn’t affect the likelihood of covering. And 21% said it makes them less likely. When asked what platform Do you prefer as a journalist to use for virtual events, or to attend 62% said zoom zoom was by far first place. Second place was only 9%. And that was YouTube. So this was an interesting one. These are the top 10 events journalists plan to cover in 2022. And I think it’s really important for us to note the different beats of those that were surveyed. Right. So remember, at the top of this minisode, I talked about the types of journalists they surveyed. Well, more on their beats here. So the average journalist surveyed covered four beats, the most popular industry covered were politics, government, legal arts and culture, business and finance, energy and environment and education. So for those respondents, here are their top 10 events they plan to cover. Number one, UN Climate Change Conference. Number two, the World Economic Forum number three World Conference on climate change and sustainability.
Six, South by Southwest, seven government social media conference. That’s that one’s interesting. Eight, e three and nine feature of finance 10 TechCrunch. Disrupt. Now, here’s what I want you to do with that information. If these events are relevant to your company or your clients company, have them on your calendar. Okay? So and be mindful of pitching around those times. So there are a few more stats and findings in the section. If this interests you, I encourage you to visit MK rack calm and download the full report. Now we’re going to move on to section three on media relations, which is my favorite, which covers pitching preferences of journalists and more. So when asked, do you generally see your relationship with PR teams and people at PR agencies as dot dot dot dot dot 60% say they see them as mutually beneficial, but not quite a partnership. 16% said unnecessary evil. Interesting word choice. 16% said they’re antagonistic but not necessarily a bad thing. And 8% said a partnership. So I will say that 60% We’ll take we’ll take that when mutually beneficial. Compared to a year ago, journalists reported that they are 59% just as likely to respond to a pitch 23% are actually even more likely to respond, but 18% are less likely to respond. This is a good one, why do you immediately reject otherwise relevant pitches. Okay, so we actually have some close stats here but number 120 4% said bad timing. Bad timing, it’s number 120 3% marked other and other meant to them that it’s irrelevant off topic not localized or the pitch was just poorly written. Okay? Third reason they reject otherwise or live in pitches 22% said lack of personalization 15% said it has a confusing subject line 13% said it was too long and 3% said large attachments Okay, What channels do you prefer to be pitched? Listen up. So number one again year after year after year. 94% say the prefer to be pitched via a one on one email. Second place which isn’t even close because we’re down to 17% now was a mass email or the news wire 3% still are okay or excuse me. Number three 15% are still okay with the phone 13% said Twitter and 8% said other social networks. You know this past year I saw a lot of I’ll call it bad or not so great advice circulating around where to pitch journalists. And while of course, this depends per individual here is a clear reminder, that email is by far where you should be headed. And if you thought sliding into a journalists, DMS would give you that edge. It might, but only for about 8% of journalists. So slide carefully, my friends. Okay, next question was on what day of the week do you prefer to receive pitches, they actually ranked in order meaning Monday came in first Tuesday came in second Wednesday came in third. So forth number seven been Sunday. This is consistent with last year’s findings. Although I will say it’s really interesting to me, because for every member of the media I have on this show, they have said they pretty much refer. They have said they pretty much prefer any other day, other than Mondays or Fridays. You know, I personally still aim for Tuesdays and Wednesdays a tip here, turn on an email tracker, monitor open and response rates and just take notes of a given journalist patterns on your media list that will be helpful going forward. When is the best time for you to receive a pitch 67% said between at 5am and 12pm 12% said overnight, so that meant 11pm to 5am. And then the rest set early afternoon or early evening. So remember, there are some pretty cool tech hacks out there that allow us to schedule emails directly from our inbox.
So 5am sounds way too early for you might want to look into that hack Boomerang is one I use personally. journalists were asked how many pitches Do you receive on an average day 50% said they receive one to five 19% said six to 10 10% said 11 to 20 journalists covering fashion and beauty receive the most pitches 23% get six to 10 a day and 10% get more than 51 pitches weekly. How many stories do you publish in an average week was the next question 51% of journalists say they published five or more stories a week. About what portion of your stories that you publish originate from a pitch 59% said a quarter of them do 19% said none. Those are probably the same people who think of PR as a necessary evil just just not loving the pitches. If I were to guess 15% said half of their stories originate from pitches. 5% said three fourths and 1% said all of them do. Basically 80% of journalists say a quarter of more of their stories originate from pitches. Next question dealt with pitch length. So first place 45% Want your pitch to be between 102 100 words 23% One to even less than 100 words. And 21% said 200 to 300 the outliers where food and dining and travel were most journalists there are okay. Sorry. The outliers were food and dining and travel where most journalists are that they are okay with pitches that are more than 200 words. So the summary here is just in case you know, you can’t visualize word count length. Keep it short keep it sweet. follow ups how many follow up emails are acceptable to journalists. 49% said 130 1% said to 10% said zero 5% said three and 4% said four. I’m team one follow up personally. And then how long after an initial email? Is it okay to follow up that was the next question. 52% said three to seven days 33% said one to two days 11% One to two weeks and then 4% said more than two weeks. Okay, next one. Do you consider the following to be credible sources for your reporting? So basically, I’m going to read you the ranked order of who are the most credible sources for reporting. Number one most credible source according to journalists at 84% are academic subject matter experts. Number two at 66% CEOs. Number three 50%. Company PR pros. So that’s someone in house number 430 6%. Said agency, PR pros. Number five 17% said social media personalities, six we have celebrity spokespeople, seven we have bloggers, eight we have self appointed subject matter experts. So while the majority find academic subject matter experts credible, fewer journalists name CEOs, when compared to last week, and company PR pros is credible, still credible, but those numbers did drop a little bit not significant. But just interesting to note. If offered an exclusive case. Next question, if offered an exclusive, how much more likely? Are you to cover the story? Well, 50% are much more likely 29% are somewhat likely, and
the rest say less likely or it depends. If you don’t know what an exclusive is. It’s basically selecting a specific outlet and giving them the first dibs to publishing before you release publicly or pitch any outside outlets. And there we have it. Those are some of the highlights of this year’s report for the full 50 page report which honestly is very graphically pleasing and easy to look through and read through. Visit muck rack.com We’ll put a link in the show notes. Otherwise, tap back through this minisode take a few notes. Adjust your strategy if you see fit and onward. Cheers