Takeaways from Muck Rack’s 2021 State of PR Survey
Summer is an invigorating season for a PR pro in Southern Rhode Island. The weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining at the local beaches, the local bike path is blooming, and Muck Rack’s 2021 State of PR study is finally out.
One of these things is not like the others, but it’s still pretty exciting. Muck Rack is a media relations and reporting platform that offers Caster valuable tools, resources for forming relationships with press, and metrics reporting to demonstrate our success across accounts. One of Muck Rack’s key differentiators is that they are serious about supporting mutually beneficial relationships between PR folks and journalists; in fact, each year they release both a State of PR and State of Journalism report to help us understand both sides of the dance.
I checked out the report and tuned into Muck Rack’s complementary webinar last week to hear all the results in real time. Three points from this year’s PR industry breakdown from over 1,600 communication pros really stuck with me:
When it comes to pitching, relevance reigns supreme
Timeliness, newsworthiness, personalization, and substance are all critical ingredients for a great pitch. If you’re pitching old news, impersonal notes, or bland storylines, you’re not going to grab any interest. Nevertheless, 42% of PR pros hit the nail on the head when asked which component is most important in a pitch. The news you’re pitching must be relevant to the journalist, writer, or editor – keeping them in their beat, and in their element. Muck Rack says it best: “You might have hot breaking news, but if you send it to the wrong person, it doesn’t matter.” Plus, sending news to someone who doesn’t care is no way to build a relationship with them.
Keep it short and sweet – but don’t forget the deets
Talk less but say more: Muck Rack reveals that despite one in four journalists preferring pitches under 100 words, only 16% of PR pros say they send pitches that short. PR pros find 100-200 words, just a bit longer, to be the happy medium. I’ve personally found success and received positive notes back from journalists when keeping it concise, but also zeroing in on what’s most important. While pitches shouldn’t be a thesis, it’s important that your note includes enough information to help the journalist understand your story and decide if it’s worth covering.
An industry destined for change, growth, and greatness
What exactly is public relations? It’s a lot of things – from media relations to social media to thought leadership to strategic planning and beyond. That’s probably why 73% of PR pros believe “public relations” will need to be redefined in 5 years, as the term doesn’t fully encompass all the services and work that PR pros can offer. As PR becomes more integrated with marketing and other communication efforts, the lines will blur even more. I have to hard agree on this one. As PR pros take on new skills, new technologies, new clients, and new platforms, a re-brand is in our future.