Home > PR > Is PR Sending More Pitches During COVID-19? [PR Tech Sum No. 12]

Is PR Sending More Pitches During COVID-19? [PR Tech Sum No. 12]

Propel says PR is sending more pitches; Muck Rack adds podcast contacts and broadcast monitoring; several PR tech vendors publish survey results

“Welcome to May. Or, maybe it’s March 77th. We’re not sure.”

That’s how The Content Advisory opened up its newsletter on May 1st. That seems about right for this strange new dimension we are living in.

This month happens to be the one-year anniversary for the PR Tech Sum. There just wasn’t (and still isn’t) much coverage about the PR technology community, and so about a year ago, I started summing up the vendor announcements on the first Tuesday of every month.

Here’s the list of PR technology companies I’m watching. If you’re a vendor, here’s how to get into the column.

>>> Looking for a B2B tech PR with expertise and execution? Give our services a try.

1. PR is sending more pitches during COVID-19

The average PR pros appear to have sent more media pitches during the Coranavirus pandemic than before it’s occurrence. That’s the analysis if Propel, which analyzed pitches sent through it’s system by US-based PR pros over the first four months of 2020.

PR pros “sent an average of 16 pitches per day to journalists, as compared to 14 in March.” The company says the average number of daily pitches was 13 in February and just 10 in January.

Do more pitches work? Probably not.

Propel says “journalists opened 47% of pitches in April, compared to 45% in March.” The open rates in February and January were 51% and 46% respectively. However, just “8% of pitches sent in April received a reply, which was the same in March.”

The response rate – the percentage of journalists replying to pitches – was slightly higher in February (10%) and January (9%). In February, 10% of pitches sent received a reply, while in January the figure was 9%.

Propel is a startup based in Israel. “The study is based on tens of thousands of pitches sent by over 100 U.S.-based PR professionals in 2020.”

2. Muck Rack releases podcast media database

Muck Rack said this month it released the “first” media contact database for podcasts:

“You can now search for podcasters by keyword based on their past podcast episodes, articles and tweets. For example, you can find podcasters who have covered your industry, interviewed your competitor’s CEO, or produced an episode about a trend that relates to your company.

Once you’ve found the right podcasters, you can add them to your media list, draft a customized pitch, reach out, then collaborate with your team to keep track of the new relationship.”

Claiming “first” is debatable. Podcasts are available in other media databases. However, Muck Rack does seem to be the first to put forward this level of emphasis on podcasts – and it’s long overdue. Some of the larger PR tech vendors have been slow to recognize podcasts as an important emerging category of media.

Broadcast contacts and broadcast monitoring

Separately, Muck Rack said it added broadcast media contacts to its database and now supports broadcast media monitoring. The company says its broadcast database contains contact details for segment and show producers, in addition to anchors and hosts. That’s important because the producers are generally responsible for putting together stories and booking interviews.

The broadcast alerts are a notification “to find out when a clip mentioning your brand, client or topic just aired.”  You can play the clip inside the Muck Rack dashboard and “also check to make sure the team behind the clip is on your media list, and if they aren’t there, add them instantly.”

Muck Rack joins Cision, Meltwater and Burrelles in providing broadcast media monitoring through an integration with TVEyes. However, in an email exchange with this blog, CEO Greg Galant says there is a distinction:

“Our broadcast monitoring is through an integration we have with TVEyes, but the data we have for our broadcast database is our own. We’ve also integrated TVEyes in such a way that makes the experience organic and seamless all-in-one platform we’re known for.”

3. Universal Information Services updates its clipping service

Universal Information Services updated its Alpha Clips monitoring service so daily reports are better prioritized and easier to read. The service uses artificial intelligence to find, summarize and cluster news. AI is now “weighting” stories in the report to float “the more important stories to the top of your daily report.” The company also added social media integration, folders and filter to allow clients to customize and categorize articles the system is scooping up for them.

4. Quick hits around PR technology

  • Cision published its annual 2020 State of the Media Report, an annual survey that polled 3,200 journalists from 15 countries this year. The survey found journalists believe distrust in the profession is falling. Respondents to the survey “reported a decrease in the public’s distrust of the media; 59% of respondents felt the public lost trust this year, which is down from 63% in 2019, 71% in 2018 and 91% in 2017.”

graphic shows journalists and reporters believe distrust in the media is falling

  • Prezly released a survey that is largely sales focused, however, there was finding I thought mildly interesting, “PRs are overly self-critical of their own performance: 61% of PRs think they’re doing worse than average when it comes to the number of ‘good relationships’ they have with their media contacts.”

5. Picks from the PR trades and PR tech blogs

Here are a few hand-picked stories from the trade publications that cover PR and the blogs of PR tech vendors.

a. TechTalk with Proof Analytics chairman and CEO Mark Stouse via Kim Davis and PR Week

“The communications industry, because they’re afraid of analytics and measurement for the most part, is really walking away from their greatest chance of glory. They’re ceding the field to marketing.”

b. Five Reasons Why You Should Use Photos and Videos in a News Release via Jeff Shulman and Business Wire 

“Photos drive news release visibility and trust. Images and infographics are an excellent way to provide context to your news story. In a single graphic, you can walk audiences in and through your data, your product or showcase your impact across your audiences.”

c. 15 Excellent Journalism & Media Newsletters for Being In-The-Know via Rocky Parker and Cision

“Whether you’re looking for the latest in journalism job openings, podcasting, digital media, or tools for journalists, hopefully, you can find at least one newsletter on this list that meets your needs.”

d. How to Write More Effective Press Releases with 6 Examples via Michelle Garrett & Meltwater

 “…a look at some well-written press releases that help brands get noticed with compelling angles and writing styles.”

e. NFC East’s Earned Media Results in the 2020 NFL Draft via Priscilla Osorio & Critical Mention

A fun post with findings that say the Philadelphia Eagles earned the most attention. I’d want to double check those parameters, though because Coach Belichick’s dog Nike, was everywhere (32,900 results in Google News for “Belichick Nike”).

f. 5 Muck Rack news trends around Coronavirus coverage via Justin Joffe & Muck Rack

The company used its trends tool to monitor high volume topics around the Coronavirus, such as virtual events, remote work, and closures.

* * *

Have an interesting announcement from a PR technology vendor? Tweet me up or use the contact form.

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Image credit: Unsplash

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