Cision’s ‘State of the Media’ Report Offers Roadmap for Better Media Relationships in the COVID-19 Era

Cision is out with its annual State of the Media Report, and it is worth a read. It focuses on the impact COVID-19 has had on the day-to-day life of reporters, and there are a few key lessons for those of us in PR:

  • Keep pitches short: Among reporters’ comments: “Directly tell me in one or two sentences why this is important for the public to know about;” “Put your point in the first five words. Skip all blandishments;” “Wasting prime real estate in the first line saying ‘For Immediate Release.’ Or, ‘I hope this finds you well.’ We need to see what it’s about without having to open it.”
  • Make experts available via phone: “Respondents deemed interviews the most trustworthy non-brand source.”
  • Timing your pitches: Reporters receive the most pitches on Mondays, and they decline consistently each successive day through Friday. Waiting until late in the week may give your pitch less competition. And Sunday pitches may work best – no competition at all on the eve of a workday.
  • The moment is fleeting: Nearly half of reporters do not plan what they will be covering more than a day in advance. They are reacting to events and opportunities in real-time.
  • Stay focused: Blankety pitches that are not customized generally get nowhere.

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