According to research conducted by Nic Newman, 2023 is set to be a year of uncertainty and fear for many people due to the COVID pandemic, global warming, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In this context, news organisations have a challenge to tackle news avoidance and disconnection, and to offer hope, inspiration, and utility to their readers. Furthermore, the emergence of new networks and models in Big Tech platforms and the advances in artificial intelligence will create both opportunities and challenges for journalism.
The world of media and journalism is constantly evolving, and as a PR professional, staying on top of the latest trends and best practices is key to effectively reaching journalists and getting your message heard.
In this blog post, we will look into various ways of discovering and connecting with relevant journalists, including utilizing media databases, scouring social media, and utilizing SEO tools.
Table of contents
Challenges Faced by Journalism Industry
According to a recent survey of editors, CEOs, and digital leaders, only 44% of respondents reported feeling confident about their business prospects in the upcoming year. On the other hand, 37% expressed uncertainty, and 19% reported feeling low confidence. These figures highlight the challenging environment currently faced by the journalism industry, with inflation, spending constraints, and other factors contributing to a precarious funding situation.
Format Innovation: Publishers Shift Towards Audio and Video Formats
Publishers are embracing new formats and channels to engage audiences beyond websites. The majority of publishers will be focusing on podcasts and other digital audio (72%), email newsletters (69%), and digital video (67%) this year. Short-form video production has grown by 4%, while developing applications for the metaverse or for voice assistants have less interest.
Peak Internet: Decline in Online Usage and News Avoidance Challenges
Data from research agency GWI shows that overall time spent on the internet has declined by 13% after reaching record high usage during COVID-19 lockdowns, indicating that peak internet usage has been reached. In terms of online news, 42% of publishers report an increase in website traffic year-on-year, while 58% say traffic has been static or falling, despite significant news stories such as the Ukraine invasion, rising energy prices, climate change, and the Queen's death in the UK.
Discovering Your Target Media Outlets and Journalists
Businesses can start with contacting journalists to identify the media outlets and article angles to work with. Journalists can help out in finding the most relevant networks and headlines. Here are some methods to help you:
Utilizing a Media Database to Locate Relevant Contacts
Media databases are a go-to resource for discovering relevant journalists and media outlets. With detailed information about journalists' areas of coverage, contact information, and social media profiles, media databases can save you time and energy by providing targeted leads. Popular media databases include Cision, Meltwater, and PR Newswire.
Scouring Social Media for Potential Journalists
Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are also goldmines for discovering potential journalists. By using hashtags and keywords related to your topic, you can find journalists who are already tweeting or writing about similar subjects. Following and interacting with journalists on social media can help you build relationships and establish your credibility as a source.
Utilizing Google News to Uncover Relevant Media Outlets
let's not forget about Google News! With a simple search using keywords related to your story or message, you can uncover new media outlets and journalists who may be a perfect fit for your pitch. Plus, reading articles on these outlets can help you tailor your pitch to fit the specific audience and tone of each publication.
Utilizing SEO Tools to Uncover Journalist Contact Information
SEO tools like Semrush and Moz aren't just for optimizing your website – they can also be powerful tools for discovering journalist contact information. By analyzing the backlinks and content of a website, you can uncover the journalists and media outlets that are writing about similar subjects. This gives you valuable insights into the types of stories and content that are resonating with journalists, and helps you tailor your pitch accordingly.
Obtaining Journalists' Email Addresses and Contact Details
Once you have identified the journalists and media outlets that are most relevant to your story or message, the next step is to obtain their contact information. Here are some methods to help you do so:
Utilizing Email Finder Tools for Quick Results
Email finder tools, such as Hunter and VoilaNorbert, can also be used to quickly find a journalist's email address. By entering the journalist's name and media outlet, these tools will provide you with their email address and other contact information. This can be a quick and efficient way to get in touch with journalists, especially if you are on a tight deadline.
Visiting the Media Outlet's Website or Making a Phone Call
Another method of obtaining journalist contact information is by visiting the media outlet's website and searching for a "Contact Us" page. Many media outlets will list the contact information of their reporters and editors on this page, including their email addresses and phone numbers. If you cannot find this information online, you can also try reaching out to the media outlet via phone to ask for the journalist's contact information.
Finding Contact Information through Social Media
Finally, social media platforms can also be a valuable resource for finding journalist contact information. Many journalists list their email addresses or other contact information in their social media profiles, or may even include this information in their bio or description. You can also reach out to journalists through direct message or by commenting on their posts to inquire about their contact information.
Final Thoughts: Connecting with Relevant Journalists
First and foremost, be proactive in your approach. Don't wait for journalists to find you - instead, actively seek out journalists who cover your industry or topic. Utilize media databases, social media, and SEO tools to identify the right journalists and media outlets to target.
Building relationships with journalists takes time and effort, so it's an equally important step. Regularly interact with journalists and provide them with valuable content to establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy source. This will increase the likelihood that they will turn to you when they need information for a story, or even work closely with you so that the right angles and topics are used for each piece of content.
It's also important to be resourceful in your approach. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in media and journalism. Keep a close eye on the news and be ready to pitch timely and relevant stories to journalists.
Lastly, don’t forget to be strategic. Tailor your pitches to the specific journalist and media outlet you are targeting. Understand their audience and what types of stories and content they are interested in. By being strategic, you can increase the likelihood that your pitch will be successful.
Connecting with relevant journalists requires a proactive, resourceful, and strategic approach. By utilizing the methods outlined above, you can establish valuable relationships with journalists and get your message heard by the right audience – although admittedly, it’s not as easy as it looks.
This is where guaranteed publicity comes in
Working with journalists in reputable media outlets can be tedious and can take time, so one of the best ways to cut through these processes is by working with a team of experts who can provide you with guaranteed publicity.
Guaranteed publicity is a powerful tool for businesses looking to establish themselves as industry leaders and increase their visibility. By partnering with a reputable PR firm or service, you can definitely generate buzz around your brand and ultimately increasing your revenue. This can be achieved through a targeted media strategy that leverages relationships with journalists and media outlets to secure placements for your company.
Guaranteed publicity is also a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. While traditional advertising can be expensive, guaranteed publicity can be a more affordable alternative that offers a higher return on investment. By working with a PR firm or service, you can create a targeted media strategy that reaches your desired audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.