Top Media Relations Insights for 2024
Just like the social and digital media landscape continues progressing, so does the media relations profession by mixing standard practices with advancing technology. Together, writing and storytelling can be more powerful, and reaching more of your target audience(s) can be expedited with easily accessible, streamlined approaches.
In addition to competing with other brands, in 2024, you’re also battling the news cycle. There are ongoing international conflicts, a U.S. presidential election, avian flu, RSV, and staffing shortages affecting multiple industries – to name a few. Here are some top media relations insights to help break through the clutter.
1. The Best Pitches Still Include Numbers
Do NOT stop using data, figures and statistics to help enhance your pitch and better your chances of receiving a response from a journalist. Compelling stories and “firsts” are undoubtedly important to engagement, and key insights can help writers, reporters and producers translate complex topics and issues. Media pitches should offer access to infographics, research and study results and interviews with industry experts, to further bring a story to life by utilizing supporting data.
2. Integration of AI into Media Relations Tactics
Integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into media relations will continue to evolve – whether you like it or not. If you’re old school like me – having been in the profession for 20+ years – you’re too busy and, frankly, overwhelmed by the concept of a robot conducting research and doing the writing for you. I’ve spent many years improving upon best practices, so it’s hard to wrap my head around anyone or any ”THING” else involved in improving my skills. I understand how AI can expedite execution and assist with repetitive tasks; I just need to intentionally dedicate time to test the technology to determine the best way to utilize the tool without completely altering my craft. I realize AI doesn’t replace humans, but I don’t want to be replaced by another PR professional who understands AI more than I do!
3. PR Pros Must Differentiate Themselves by Adapting to the Ever-Evolving Media Landscape
Bottom line – in today’s digital age, PR pros need to go where the journos are. We must embrace the newest social media platforms as ADDITIONAL channels to incorporate into any media relations plan. It’s crucial to connect with journos on what they and their audiences are interested in, as well as building solid relationships with members of the media.
Although LinkedIn started as a professional networking platform, journalists publish their pieces and thoughts on industry trends and issues via this channel, which is beneficial for PR pros in developing targeted pitches. Conversely, it’s a great avenue to use to not only promote a story, project, or campaign but also to express appreciation to a journalist for their time and attention to the piece and to highlight relationships.
Substack is another popular channel to use when mining for stories. Although it’s subscription-based, journalists will lay out exactly what they’re looking for and when, as well as identify opportunities for collaboration. It’s also a great way to stay informed on captivating stories and fascinating topics, emerging trends and issues that are mutually interesting.
4. The Use of Podcasts Will Continue to Grow
Podcasts will continue to grow in popularity as audience stats have increased tremendously over the past few years. According to stats recently published by Demandsage, a data-driven company helping businesses make informed decisions, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners globally as of December 2023, and that number is projected to reach nearly 505 million by the end of 2024.
I cannot stress enough the importance of storytelling now more than ever – it strengthens branding efforts, improves client relations and helps facilitate revenue. It allows executives and other thought leaders to humanize their brand by providing the actual voice behind the logo. Key messages and industry insights can be articulated in a more conversational format and meaningful connections can be established with audience members through this medium. You can reach them where they are, whether during work commutes, downtime at kids’ practices, breakfast and/or dinner preparation, workouts, etc. Utilizing podcasts is a very effective and convenient approach to enhancing your brand’s awareness and strengthening relationships with your stakeholders.
As always, be patient and persistent – stay the course! With some fine-tuning of “old” practices and incorporating fresher ways to tell your brand’s story, you can catch the attention of targeted journos and pubs – keep the faith, my friends.
What other ways can your brand impact media outreach in 2024?
To see examples of how we’ve supported our clients with media relations strategy and outreach, view our case studies.