Takeaways from Cision’s annual State of the Media Report.
Journalism is dealing with several challenges these days, from shrinking newsrooms to the fear of fake news making readers more skeptical than ever about what they read and see. By understanding these challenges, brands and their public relations teams can help news outlets navigate these murky waters, while also positioning themselves to headline stories that matter.
Cision, a powerful tool providing media insights for PR professionals and marketers, released its annual 2018 Global State of the Media Report to showcase trends and insights from journalists themselves, collecting more than 1,350 responses from across the media spectrum and the world. Here are three ways brands and their PR professionals can maximize their media efforts to entice reporters and score powerful, earned media coverage.
1. House accurate, trustworthy information with a press release.
Being a trusted source and reliable partner is more vital than ever. So how can brands help build up that trust? Provide media experts with information that’s accurate, newsworthy and can be used to enhance their coverage. According to three-quarters of the survey’s respondents, being 100 percent accurate in their reporting is more important than exclusivity or being first on a story.
While journalists can get story ideas from anywhere, survey respondents rank press releases as the number one most valuable content piece and most trusted brand source they receive from PR contacts for three years running. They prefer a conversational tone and clearly stated news hook to make news announcements more efficient.
2. Provide engaging assets to supplement stories.
In addition to press releases, brands and PR pros can arm accompanying pitches with real and interesting stories to tell, including brand spokespeople like CEOs, quotes and multimedia elements. Getting someone to speak to a reporter directly, versus just pointing them to your site, is still a necessary element. Using owned channels, like a website or company blog, can provide some context, but journalists find it’s not useful for reporting a story. Interestingly, 22 percent conveyed that original research on trends and market data was also important to them, offering a new opportunity for brands to be a source and add their own context.
3. Research media targets before pitching to provide tailored, relevant info.
For the third year in a row, journalists ask that PR contacts research them in addition to the outlet to understand who they are and what they cover, ranking this as their top request. Placing a focus on enhancing the quality of pitches is more important than decreasing the quantity, with only 15 percent stating their biggest request is less spam. Based on research, PR pros should tailor pitches to a reporter’s beat so that it will be relevant and usable to them.
No matter what happens in the industry, eye-catching, fact-based storytelling is still paramount. Brands and PR professionals who can help editors with their work — by providing accurate, information-rich press releases, and by giving journalists access to sources — will be the ones who succeed the most at getting clients in the news.
Are you looking for new ways to engage media and get your brand in the news? Contact us today to discuss how we can help!