68% of Journalists Unhappy With Corp Communications Pitches, New Study Reveals

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In no small part, corporate communications and PR agency teams are to blame for journalists’ increasing level of stress, a new survey reveals. Lazy PR practitioners send out ineffective emails and half-hearted pitches, most typically via email, for story opportunities they rarely expect to succeed. Even when pitches are effective, communicators fail to include the needed components, leaving journalists with the job of finding the additional source material and resources they need to make a story or broadcast segment complete.

For example, 75% of articles published each week include multimedia content. Yet most pitches include no multimedia resources and little to no follow up, leaving companies vulnerable to inaccurate or incomplete coverage by rushed and harried reporters, and entirely missing the greater opportunity for full and more accurate press.

If you are pitching a broadcast reporter, have you provided sufficient “b-roll” and background footage to allow the reporter to make their segment complete? If you are pitching a print or online reporter, have you provided images? Video snippets? Perhaps an infograph that supports the key messages you hope to present?

Said Salvatore Salpietro, CTO of ISEBOX, the company that conducted the survey: “There seems to be a massive gap between what journalists need, and the way corporate communicators are catering to these needs. There is increasing pressure on corporate communications and public relations teams to gain earned media coverage, yet practitioners continue to make the process of obtaining multimedia content very difficult by offering it up through tools like FTP, email, locked-down websites, and manual requests.”

80% of reporters expressed frustration in needing to spend more than 30 minutes obtaining multimedia material for their stories. Yet 80% of journalists feel photos, infographics and video are very important to effective and engaging content.

“If a pitch doesn’t contain graphics I can include with my article, it’s hard for me to take it on.” said Karen Fratti, freelance writer and frequent contributor for Mediabistro and Huffington Post.

“It’s even better if there is a video. I am under strict deadlines to produce at least 5-7 articles a day, and visual content is always required. Wasting hours sourcing and editing a company’s logo or media content to accompany a post is something I cannot afford. When a pitch comes with everything attached, no cumbersome downloads, I want to hug that PR rep. And, I’m more likely to pick up on the next release from them, too.”

There you have it. With press coverage being more highly sought after and precious than ever before, can organizations afford to be pushing their best visibility opportunities away? Here’s the opportunity to make your next pitch a good one, and to enjoy the coverage results 80% of today’s PR practitioners are throwing away.