Each year, I look forward to the release of Medianet's Australian Media Landscape Report and its PR Guide to Effective Media Engagement.
I like to read the reports in tandem, as they unravel a treasure trove of insights that influence how I refine my approach to pitching stories and managing client expectations each year. I find delving into the minds of the 844 Australian journalists interviewed for these reports fascinating, especially in understanding the new and emerging challenges they face in their roles.
Despite more than 30 years in the industry, I still get the thrill of finding ways to adapt my approach to meet changed conditions, hopefully benefiting all stakeholders (my clients, the media and my comms agency).
Understanding Journalist Preferences
This year's findings reveal a significant shift in journalists' source preferences, with only 58% relying on PR agencies for their news stories—a 9% drop from the prior year.
In 2023, I dealt with other PR agencies, and many found it more challenging to get traction on a release, so these figures show it's not been a figment of their imagination.
That said, the relevance of press releases remains undiminished, with 81% of journalists still using them and 89% receiving pitches directly from PR contacts, underscoring the ongoing importance of direct engagement and the need for PR professionals to fine-tune their strategies accordingly.
Timing and Delivery Matter
Journalistic Annoyances and Preferences
Content Features and Challenges
Some of these approaches to pitching aren't new, but the 2024 research results remind us what is important.
By embracing these insights, understanding the challenges for journalists, and adjusting our pitching approach accordingly, PR professionals can navigate the complexities of media engagement with greater efficiency in 2024.
Understanding and aligning with journalists' preferences improves our pitches' success rate and fosters stronger, more productive relationships between PR professionals and the media.
This article was first published on 6 February 2024 on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/pulse/mastering-art-media-relations-2024-fiona-hamann-crxoc/?trackingId=il9aLgOkRHqyUzFLwQMheA%3D%3D
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