How To Get Written About In 2024 - According To Journalists

Each year, media distribution and PR software platform company Cision conducts its ‘State of the Media’ survey which has become an industry standard bearer for identifying trends in journalism. This year’s survey took place in January and February 2024, and received responses for over 3000 journalists worldwide, so it represents a good overview of the challenges and requirements of working media around the globe.

From the point of view of firms seeking to work with their media, the survey confirms some well-established PR truths – despite the constantly changing media and technology landscape.

Here are some key takeaways:

1.       Journalists see their biggest challenge as maintaining credibility as a trusted news source/combating accusations of “fake news”.  The lesson for firms (and PRs) is clear – to establish a track record for reliable and authentic news stories. Developing a reputation as a source for good, trustworthy news or features content can only be established over time, by consistently delivering genuine newsworthy content every time. 

2.       Understanding publication’s/writer’s audiences and what they find relevant is also an important lesson from the survey. 68% of journalists want this as their top priority in pitches and communications directed at them. Identifying your key writers and publications has always been a key start point for every media campaign I have ever undertaken, with the press contacts list regularly updated and focused on an ongoing basis. 

3.       On a related point, spamming writers with irrelevant pitches is a number one turn off with 77% recording this issue as a reason to block the sender. A scattergun approach simply does not work – indeed it actively works against both the sender and their company. 

4.       When asked what type of content they most wanted to receive, the humble press release once again topped the list with 74% with original research reports and exclusive stories coming in at 2nd and 3rd with 61% and 55% respectively. Press releases were also the resource journalists find most useful for generating content or story ideas at 68%, with direct pitches and industry experts following closely behind at 47% 

5.       “Images” topped the list of  supplied ‘multimedia’  which journalists/publications used with their stories last year - at 72% over twice the number of those using ‘data visualisation’ and ‘video’ (34% and 33% respectively). 

Even in a rapidly changing and challenging environment, the age old learnings of PR remain: developing a reputation for reliable news, correctly focussing your PR efforts to the right writers and publications, and supplying them with well written press materials and considered images still remain key elements of a successful media campaign.

You can find the full survey here

To kick start your media campaign, please contact me here