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5 Media Trends to Watch in 2014


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When is it appropriate to tweet a reporter? Will a link to video strengthen your pitch to a journalist? Should you pitch a CEO interview to BuzzFeed?

Each year, the Edelman Media Network – a group of 400 former journalists and media relations experts from each U.S. office and practice – identifies trends that are changing the way PR professionals interact with reporters, editors and producers. In our 5 Media Trends to Watch in 2014, we focus on two main areas: the way we’re consuming news on mobile devices and how we initially approach the media with a pitch.

What do you think of the trends we identified? Are we missing anything? And how are you changing the way you interact with reporters? Tweet @EdelmanPR and let us know.

Published in: Marketing

5 Media Trends to Watch in 2014

  1. 1. First came the blast fax, then the email pitch. Now, reporters want PR professionals to pitch stories in a visual way. In fact, 73 percent of reporters think press releases should contain at least one visual3, a trend we expect to continue in 2014. The high traffic and success of sites like Instagram and Pinterest demonstrate the power of visual content4. What do politics and poodles have in common? Millennials are reading stories about both topics from the same news sources. In 2014, expect to see hard news and funny articles shared at similar rates as long as each type of story evokes an emotional response from readers1. In the era of the desktop computer, we saw niche media thrive. Sites like Politico and YumSugar attracted huge followings. But now that we get much of our news on mobile devices, we’re seeing niche outlets broaden. News outlets such as Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Mashable are posting hard news stories next to lighter features to take advantage of Millennial media habits. PR Takeaway: Incorporate high-resolution images, b-roll and infographics into your pitch. Avoid spam folders by including links to the images rather than sending unsolicited attachments. PR Takeaway: Take a second look at online sites, such as BuzzFeed, which has beefed up political reporting. is even broadening its feature content in an attempt to attract viewers who are watching TV networks such as Discovery and National Geographic2. Leading social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are competing to be the go-to sites for news. Facebook recently tweaked its News Feed delivery algorithm to differentiate between hard news and status updates and to give greater weight to linked media content5. In addition, studies show that nearly one in 10 adults now get their news from Twitter6. PR Takeaway: Social media is quickly becoming a top destination for news delivery and consumption. Media outlets are now complementing their traditional publishing efforts with real-time social media activity, which can amplify the power of both paid and earned content. Almost one-third of workers in the U.S. today are considered freelancers, and the newsroom is no exception7. News outlets are increasing their use of freelancers for short-term projects rather than investing in full-time hires8. Additionally, individual journalists and media personalities are increasingly creating personal brands that transcend their parent networks and outlets, elevating their relationships with their audience across multiple touch points. PR Takeaway: As newsrooms and editorial staffs continue to merge and shrink, freelancers have become valuable resources for media and are trusted with significant editorial responsibility. PR professionals need to build strong relationships with reporters and editors, not just media outlets. Instead of simply asking which outlet is best for your next pitch, ask which reporter is the most effective storyteller across all media and social channels. 3 4 5 Should you tweet a reporter? A few years ago, many journalists said “no.” While the majority of reporters still wish to be pitched via email, a recent survey found that 29 percent of reporters will accept pitches over Twitter and 31 percent accept pitches via Facebook9. More journalists appear to be open to social media pitches – but only if done correctly, respectfully and after diligent research. PR Takeaway: It is becoming more acceptable to pitch media through alternative platforms, such as Twitter and Muck Rack. However, it is still imperative to research journalists and their preferences before you pitch. Blind mass pitches have never worked and should always be avoided. 8 9 1 6 2 7