What if your communication strategy missed a single key to unlocking a vault full of media coverage? If you aren’t emailing journalists properly that might be the case.

In Cision’s 2016 State of the Media report we found that what journalists want most is to be emailed and for those emails to include the Five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. It is your story to tell and that is Journalism 101. Give them what they need!

prefer-to-be-pitched1. The devil, and the coverage, is in the details.

How important is answering those five questions? More than 50 percent of respondents emphasize the importance of getting basic information on the events or products communication professionals ask them to write about. Include event addresses, estimated attendance totals or for a product pricing details and locations where the items can be purchased.

A quarter of all respondents say they will pursue a pitch when the communication professional has researched their work, interests and strengths. The lesson is that if you try to be secretive and don’t fully tailor your pitch, it might be forgotten.

2. Email is a communication professional’s best friend.

Email is cited as the best pitching medium by 93 percent of the journalists we surveyed. None rated it worst so if you aren’t still pitching via email, even in this social media age, then you’re missing valuable editorial opportunities.

When asked what medium they consider off limits in terms of pitching, 37 per cent say the phone. So when your emails go unanswered, consider following up with another or a ping on social rather than phoning.

3. Relationships help but exclusivity doesn’t.

In public relations, who you know is often more important than what you know — the same holds true when working with journalists. Thirteen per cent of reporters will following through on pitches from those they have established relationships with, meanwhile only 7.5 per cent feel that exclusivity is important.

When considering offering a journalist exclusivity consider the scale of the story. If the information or access you are providing isn’t ground breaking the offer of exclusivity may not be worthwhile.

Learn what communication professionals need to improve on, how journalists see social media being used in the future and why you need to help them with creative content — read this year’s .


About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

Read previous post:
2016 Canadian Auto Show Supercars Rule Social Media

Millennials are the fastest growing car-buying market and auto-manufactures are trying to piece together marketing methods that work.