By: Matthew Kaiserman, Junior Account Executive
Today’s media landscape is far different than it was even a few years ago. Newsrooms are shrinking, yet the desire for fresh content is expanding. With short-staffed newsrooms and time at a premium, journalists are now having to crank out articles at a rapid pace with half of the resources they used to have. But what does this mean for public relations professionals?
Our roles are changing too, as you may send journalists countless amounts of pitches every week to only get a handful of responses. Journalists don’t have the time to sift through every email sent by PR professionals, making the inclusion of pertinent data and proprietary stats crucial to having your pitch stand out from the crowd. I try to put myself in the shoes of the reporter and think how I can best help them create a compelling story. As PR professionals, we are now an extension of the newsroom and journalists rely on us for comprehensive content just as much as their own staff. Recent data backs up these thoughts:
· PR professionals outnumber journalists by a 6 to 1 ratio.
· Over 95% of media pitches are ignored.
Communicators are often fighting to stand out in an oversaturated media market. In order to make your message heard, below are three ways to leverage data in your media outreach.
1. Visualize your Data
If you can find unique ways for reporters and readers alike to consume information, your messages will garner higher engagement. As a reader, I look for eye-catching content that looks easy to take in. Instead of sharing long-form data, look to create thoughtful infographics to back up your claims. Our role is to educate the readers, but this does not have to be in the form of long unappealing articles. Journalists want content that is visually appealing, easily digestible, informative and engaging for readers. Creatively visualizing your data checks all of these boxes.
2. Be Strategic with the Data you Share
Oftentimes, data can be overwhelming and as a result, we lose sight of why we are even sharing certain information. PR professionals must carefully sift through data to only include the most compelling points with journalists and not overload them with information. I try to send pitches that don’t overwhelm journalists but provide key points that a story can be built around. Don’t send a reporter a 100-page research report, rather pull out the most pertinent data points.
3. Use Information to Tell a Story
Data is just a set of loose figures until it is connected to form a story. Personalize your information to show how certain statistics will directly affect your target audience. Data offers credibility while humanizing it creates a compelling narrative.
Continuously pitching media the same, mundane way over and over is not only a recipe for disaster and ignored emails, it also harms the relationships you’ve built with journalists. As the media landscape changes, communicators must adapt. Look to use compelling data as the vehicle to share the story behind your brand, and media interest will soon follow.