About this article

Read time:

4 minutes

Category:

Opinion

Artificial pitch: the art of journalist communications

I recently saw some interesting research from Propel PR who reckon that PR pros send, on average, 111 pitches to journalists each month. Out of those; 50% are opened, 7% get a response and 1.5% result in coverage. That’s pretty low odds. So why do we, collectively as an industry, still continue to email pitches to press if only 1 in 100 results in a positive for the client?

 

Let’s first look at the mechanics here. I’m assuming that by ‘pitches’ the research is referring to email pitches for news, press releases, feature topics, article ideas – basically anything crafted and developed as press material.

 

In reality we treat these different types of content in different ways. Yes ultimately they end up in a journalist’s inbox but a news release would be treated differently to an idea for a feature or a pitch for a byline.

 

So what other options are there? Well the stats don’t really reveal the whole story (although they’re great insights). Email pitches are only ever one part of the process. As controversial as it is, phone pitching is still (yes after 25 years in the business we’re still doing it) one of the most effective ways to drive coverage. The ability to discuss/engage/interact with a journalist, and bring the story to life of course outweighs the one dimensional approach often provided by an email – even with video and images there is no guarantee that these will be scrolled down to, viewed or clicked on.

 

Then there is social media. Journalists often put out requests for comments, content and news over a variety of platforms. Engaging with them here when you have a story that’s appropriate ensures that it’s short and straight to the point.

 

And don’t forget face to face. While the opportunity to meet with journalists F2F is ever diminishing, the benefit of putting a face to a name, and gaining insights into their needs, interests and likes is invaluable. People are always willing to spend more time discussing issues face to face than over email or the phone.

 

My feeling is that email pitching still has a vital role to play, but as part of a broader journalist communications effort. And it goes without saying that it needs to be relevant.

 

Some other interesting findings from the research included:

  1. Tuesday is the busiest day for pitching with 40% sent that day. Makes sense really. Monday everyone is too busy sorting out the week ahead. Journalists may have more time on Tuesday to review inbound news.
  2. Friday is the least busy/quietest? day for pitching with 8% of pitches sent that day. Again, totally makes sense. Attention is thin on the ground and if it’s a weekly and it lands on Friday afternoon, it’s not news by Monday.
  3. PROs pitch heavily during lunch. The biggest pitching hour is 1-2pm. Lunch at your desk then. This one surprised me. I’d always try and send my pitches early in the morning when journalists are looking for the day’s news to write about.

 

If you’re interested in some top tips on pitching, check out our previous blog ‘I’ve got 99 problems, but my pitch aint one’. It’s still one of the best headlines I’ve ever seen.

 

N.B: The research was based on 7,500 email pitches sent to reporters across a variety of industries.

About this article

Read time:

4 minutes

Category:

Opinion

Q&A on PR measurement with Richard Benson, CEO and founder, Releasd

Skout’s 2024 Annual Offsite: Glitz, glamour and mystery

Browse more blog posts

Posted on
byJames Bentley
Richard Benson is the founder and managing director of PR reporting and measurement platform Releasd. He used his agency background to develop an intuitive platform designed to address the reporting challenges faced by today’s PR professionals. Releasd hasn’t been developed with the sole intention of measuring coverage of PR campaigns. Its next iteration will measure their impact too and the...
Posted on
byHonor Williamson
In the world of B2B PR, breaking away from the day-to-day routine can bring fresh perspectives and a change of pace to the work we do here at Skout. So, for our eagerly anticipated annual business offsite last week, Skout traded the office walls for the grand fortress of Peckforton Castle, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.   The grounds...
Posted on
byJack Doyle
Has the conversation around tech always been so negative? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that every second headline I read about tech today is just doom and gloom. The excitement around AI has been drowned out by the fear of it. “Is it going to steal my job?” “Is it going to destroy the education system?” “Is it...
Posted on
byJames Bentley
The world in that we live is unpredictable, to say the least. Businesses, organisations and even individuals are all vulnerable to issues which may lurk in the shadows or around corners. Some of these crises are natural while some are very definitely man-made, but they can strike at any time and with them put reputations and livelihoods on the line....
Posted on
byLee Simpson
Priority Consultants share further insights into the media landscape in India, from the booming print media, to regional trade publications. Mitabh, last time we spoke about the Indian tech sector and areas which you’re seeing high growth in currently. But thinking more about the work you do for your tech clients. What do you see as some of the key...
Posted on
byLee Simpson
Meeting PR agencies from different regions around the world is something we are always keen to explore. Whether that’s to work in partnership with one another, or simply to understand and learn more about their region. We recently spoke to Mitabh Saud, director of India Operations at Priority Consultants about why India’s tech sector is booming, and what the future...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
In today’s fast-paced and consistently evolving world of technology, innovation is key to stay ahead of the competition. While breakthrough products and next-generation solutions are fundamentally crucial, the importance of public relations (PR) for the tech industry should not be underestimated. Here, we explore the reasons why tech companies, both innovative start-ups or big tech, need PR and how it...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
Since the dawn of the 21st century, the tech industry has surged and evolved through countless groundbreaking innovations. But in the ongoing pursuit of digital transformation, layoffs in the sector have become an unwelcome trend. We saw it in the aftermath of the pandemic with the industry increasing its layoffs by 649% in 2022, which is the highest since the...
Posted on
byJames Bentley
Things change quickly in the world of B2B marketing, so it’s vital to be ahead of the curve. 2024 will bring with it new challenges and opportunities, so here are five incredible B2B marketing strategies which can make a significant impact for your business this year.  1. Personalised content marketing  Identifying and then producing content for specific target audiences has...
Posted on
bySkout team
Why was Operations your chosen career? I realised that Business Operations and Finance is the ideal path for me as I’ve always been passionate about finance and business, and I really love problem-solving. I love the challenging nature of the role and it is incredibly satisfying for my numerical mind to tackle challenges and turn them into opportunities for growth....

Send us a message

Download The B2B business relationship report

The B2B relationship renaissance – did digital kill it? The importance of relationships throughout the customer buying journey. Please complete the form below and receive a download link via email.