Media relations will always involve pitching a compelling story to a journalist. But the way that we craft a pitch is changing… and fast. Here are eight media trends – and their PR implications – to watch in the coming year.
- Snapchat scoops up millions of news viewers. We’re all familiar with Savannah Guthrie on the Today show, but keep an eye on a different Savannah at NBC: Savannah Sellers who co-hosts the network’s first daily Snapchat news program, Stay Tuned, with Gadi Schwartz. It reached more than 29 million unique viewers in less than a month after launch. 1
PR Takeaway: CNN and NBC both host daily news programs on Snapchat, and – along with the other media on the Discover tab – are an effective way to reach younger viewers with quick unexpected facts and quirky stats.
- Livestreaming is mainstream. Even small, niche trade outlets are livestreaming on Facebook Live to boost their profile—and ideally, yours.
PR Takeaway: Provide opportunities for live streaming behind the scenes, at events and during executive interviews.
- Contributors rule national morning shows. How do you reach national morning shows? A paid spokesperson no longer works, so try pitching contributors who fill the majority of airtime in the latter hours of morning shows.
PR Takeaway: Connect with magazine editors, third party experts and others with your relevant message for inclusion in upcoming segments.
- The political cycle is never-ending. The New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. just wrote an email to subscribers that reads, “In my 40+ years working in journalism, I’ve not witnessed a news cycle as relentless as the one we’re in.” And it’s especially difficult to break through with non-political news on the cable networks.
PR Takeaway: Focus on the .com properties of cable news, where reporters write stories outside of the politics.
- Journalists feel attacked. Today, more journalists say they feel attacked by politicians and the public than in recent memory, which has implications for PR professionals.
PR Takeaway: Treating journalists with a little respect will go a long way. Also, journalists are fortifying their fact checking efforts in the midst of Fake News accusations, so build in extra time for that process.
- Digital newsletters, podcasts: It’s back to the future. According to the Pew Research Center, 97 percent of digital-first news outlets use email newsletters to reach their audiences. Three quarters of outlets also use podcasts to expand their audiences.2 The Daily by The New York Times averages a half million downloads a day3, and NPR reports a weekly unique audience of nearly 1 million listeners for its Up First podcast.4
PR Takeaway: Make sure to include podcasts and newsletters in PR planning.
- Mainstream and multicultural media converge in pursuit of Millennials. Univision recently acquired properties like The Onion, and the Gizmodo Media Group. And last year, Telemundo partnered with Mashable, Vox, Tastemade and Buzzfeed.
PR Takeaway: Tell stories that resonate with bicultural consumers, acknowledging their heritage and background, but also understanding their unique mindset.
- Sponsored content evolves. Media brands are now stricter about the sponsored content and native advertising they produce, ensuring each piece of content fits their outlet’s style and appeals to readers.
PR Takeaway: Ensure that each story aligns with the style of the media brand where it appears, not just the demographic it reaches.
1 http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/cnn-the-update-snapchat-snap-stories-shows-nbc-news-stay-tuned 2 http://www.journalism.org/fact-sheet/digital-news/ 3 https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/new-york-times-washington-post-donald-trump 4 http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/08/the-daily-podcasters-choice-try-to-fit-in-listeners-crowded-mornings-or-tackle-the-evening-commute/