How To Navigate the Media Environment

Learn how to navigate the "new normal" of media relations and get a preview of the news environment for the coming year.

Pete Kidd

March 14, 2022

On March 2, panelists from the Financial Post and Aurora Strategy Group came together to preview the news environment for 2022. For public relations pros, this was the perfect opportunity to understand the “new normal” of media relations.

Moderated by Notified’s Sylvie Harton, SVP Strategy and Global Head of PR and IR Solutions, experts discussed how newsrooms manage and prioritize their news, what trending topics the media is forecasting for 2022 and how PR pros can most effectively navigate the 24-hour news cycle.

In this blog, we highlight the top three takeaways from the event. When you’re finished reading, watch the full discussion on demand.
 

1.    New Approaches to Media Outreach and Brand Storytelling

People are using social media more than ever as a source of news. Journalists are also on social platforms more often, creating content to support their stories and monitoring conversations and news events.

When it comes to PR communications and brand storytelling, not only should you be sending press releases to share your news - there should be more time invested in creating content for social media to get attention. You need to put in the effort to reach people where they’re spending time.

When it comes to media outreach, press releases and pitches are still effectively shared via email and even phone, but it’s important to not stop there. The importance of social media goes beyond storytelling and includes media follow up too.

Newsrooms are inundated with stories and have less people chasing more stories. After you send an email to a journalist, follow them on social media and send them a direct message if they haven’t responded to your email/call.

Media outreach is truly a multichannel strategy in 2022.
 

2.    The State of Newsrooms

Due to the effects of the pandemic, newsrooms in 2022 are smaller with reporters doing far more i.e. creating social media content, creating 2-3 stories per day.

Journalists truly are a “jack of all trades” and can find it difficult to keep up with what’s in their inbox.

Online events and webcasts have made life easier for journalists, so they can eliminate traveling to news events, but it also makes it harder to form deep relationships with sources. The feedback from our panel was that relationships form more naturally through in-person meetings.

Knowing the state of newsrooms today, one of the most important and helpful ways to stand out to journalists is by creating properly formatted press releases.

This includes:

  • Inverted pyramid style writing - why does it matter now?
     

  • Linking to places with more background/content and resisting the urge to make a press release a wall of text.
     

  • Being very targeted with your outreach. For PR pros, it’s about knowing your audience and sending your news to the right reporter.
     

3.    How to Effectively Pitch Journalists

We already mentioned that for each story, journalists are now expected to create content for multiple platforms. This knowledge gives PR pros the opportunity to create more brand storytelling to send along with their release or pitch.

However, there were more important tips shared from our media panelists.

Top Tips for Pitching Reporters Your Story:

  • The subject line of your email is often the most important aspect. Due to information overload, this will determine if a journalist even opens your message.
     

  • Make sure you don’t overload the email with text/content. Make sure you have links to your website, social channels, etc.
     

  • Picking up the phone sometimes can actually work better, due to the increase of emails journalists are receiving on a daily basis. You can be a concierge for your stories once a relationship has been established with a reporter.
     

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Watch the Webinar On Demand

Thanks for reading our recap!

In our full discussion, our experts discussed in more detail how newsrooms manage and prioritize their news, what trending topics the news media is forecasting and how PR pros can most effectively work with the media.

Watch the webinar on demand today.

Author Name
Pete Kidd