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Shifting Pitching Tactics Yields Positive Results for Communicators

By Nicole Schuman for PRNews

A recent survey conducted by Propel, a PR management platform, revealed positive news for media relations pros. The Q4 2022 Propel Media Barometer found journalists are responding to pitches more often.

Zach Cutler, Propel co-founder, CEO & chairman, and former PR agency owner, believes this uptick stems from changing PR strategies.

“We’ve found PR pros are sending pitches with fewer words in them and shorter subject lines,” Cutler says. Propel analyzed more than 400,000 pitches.

For example, a 500-word pitch can translate into a full-page Word document. Some journalists receive tens to possibly hundreds of pitches daily. There isn’t time to read everything.

Propel’s analysis found 23% fewer pitches of 500 to 1,000 words were sent in Q3 vs Q2. Similarly, there was a 6% increase in 50-149-word pitches sent compared to last quarter. These shorter pitches received an 8.3% response rate, the highest of the pitch-length groups.

Less Talk, More Action

During the past several years, Propel’s barometer showed a downward trend in journalists’ response rate, resulting in an uphill battle for PR professionals seeking earned media coverage.

The good news is that the average open rate on pitches was 40.28%—slightly higher than the Q1 open rate (36%) and the Q2 open rate (37.78%). Much of this has to do with the length of a pitch.

The length of subject lines also seems to play a role. While subject lines of 16 words or longer were getting the highest open rates, their response rates were less than half of pitches whose subject lines were between 6 and 9 words, with rates of 1.66% and 3.82% respectively.

“Journalists are…busy, so get to the point quickly while answering key questions,” Cutler says. These include:

  • what and who the story is about
  • how it’s relevant to the news cycle and the journalist’s beat and
  • why the journalist should care about the story enough to cover it

For more, click here.

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