Where Reporters Find Stories

According to a recent Muck Rack survey, 53% of U.S.-based journalists do not rely on a press releases at all to find new stories, with just 3% of journalists worldwide reporting that they did. To any sentient PR person who’s been awake these past oh, ten years, this is not news.  

Earlier this year, Cision released their 2018 Global State of the Media Report, which found that “for the third year in a row, media professionals ranked press releases and news announcements as the most valuable type content they receive from their PR contacts. They’ve also once again chosen the press release as their most trusted brand source.” At first blush this would seem to contradict the Muck Rack findings, but the key difference is that the MR survey asked journalists to what degree they relied on press releases to find stories. It is not surprising that, per the Cision survey, journalists indicated how much value they place on press releases as brand or company validation. This is consistent with what I’ve said above — pitches are what spark stories, press releases are what journalists rely on to get a sense of the background, relevance, authority and reliability of the pitch source.

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