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  • Writer's pictureJessica Porter

Improve media relations to increase content ROI

Cision’s 2023 Global State of the Media Report shows media—and how marketing and PR pros can best communicate with media—is changing. By understanding the challenges journalists face, communications professionals can consistently deliver the resources needed to increase clients’ media engagement.

In today’s world of misinformation and tightening budgets, it’s challenging to be a journalist. According to the report, 27% of journalists poled state the top challenge in journalism is maintaining credibility as a trusted news source/combating accusations of “fake news”, followed closely by lack of staffing and resources (20%), and declining advertising and circulation revenues (20%). The top challenges for 38% of respondents are keeping up amid downsizing and reduced resources and balancing reporting on important topics against pressure to drive business (22%).

As a result, the most successful communications professionals are the ones who provide the resources journalists need to make their jobs easier.

What Do Journalists Need?

The top type of content journalists need from communications professionals is data (68%), including original research on trends and market data. Sixty-six percent of journalists state communications pros should provide data and expert sources to make their lives easier.

Press releases are the top way journalists generate content or ideas, followed closely by industry experts and major wires. To boost the ROI of press releases, Cision found those with multimedia elements get up to six times more engagement than press releases without multimedia. In the last year, 77% of journalists used images, 44% used videos and 43% used data visualization/graphics.

Tips to Develop Better Relationships With Journalists

Cision found the following ways communications professionals can create new relationships—or improve current relationships—with journalists.

  • Keep providing value and seeking more ways to do so.

  • Deliver content they find useful (and relevant to their audience, outlet and platform).

  • Provide multimedia whenever and wherever possible and appropriate.

  • Do everything you can to make their lives easier.

  • Invest in deeper understanding to create customized messages and deliver relevant content that will actually get the media’s attention.

  • Take every opportunity to connect with media in person.

In-person events are back, and journalists are ready to attend. The report found two in three journalists prefer to attend an event in person versus virtually when given the option.

The top ways communications professionals can damage a relationship with a journalist include:

  • Overdoing it with outreach and follow ups;

  • Adding to their already busy schedules and frustrations with irrelevant pitches;

  • Spamming with irrelevant pitches; and

  • Using clickbait, jargon and other “red flag” words and phrases.

It’s most effective for communications professionals to take the time to understand journalists, their audiences and the types of content they would like to receive. By taking a professional and helpful approach, communications professionals can develop better relationships with journalists and improve the chance of coverage for their clients.

AOE’s Public Relations Practice Group has a track record of article placements in many respected publications due to strong relationships with journalists and editors. Reach out to the team today to begin developing relationships between your company and today’s media.


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