Journalists Sound Off On PR, Are You Listening?

You’ve heard it from us before. Now, you’re hearing it from journalists themselves, under the cloak of a new survey from Cision, the media database company.

Journalists surveyed globally are telling PR pros that they need to start working differently and respecting the new way that news operates. It’s incumbent upon us to heed that call and make sure our clients understand that the same old same old just can’t work anymore.

Here are some of the top takeaways from the Cision survey:

-75% of journalists say fewer than a quarter of the pitches they receive are relevant. That’s flat-out embarrassing. Seriously, as an industry, what are we doing other than wasting time and money by sending garbage three out of every four times we send an email to a newsroom?

-More than 1/3 of journalists publish more than seven stories per week. 42 percent of them work no more than a day in advance. They’re busier than ever. Cision calls it “overwhelmed and overworked.” They generally aren’t writing in-depth profiles. Stop bugging them and get them what they need to do their jobs.

-43% of journalists say their primary measure of success is readership or viewers of a particular story, a number that’s rising. This should completely redefine what’s a “good story” to PR. It can’t be just good for your client or company. It has to drive audience for the outlet. It’s not just about a complete package of news that’s “selling papers” or grabbing ratings. It’s story-by-story. It’s a whole new game. If you work in PR and don’t know what Chartbeat or a Portable People Meter is, it’s time to learn because the professional on the other end of the email is living and dying by it.

If you want news coverage for your client or company, journalists have given your PR arm a GPS when they used to have a roadmap. It’s now up to them to listen and follow it.