Takeaways from Cision’s 10th Annual State of the Media Report

Read the original post on the Cision blog.

State of the Media: Insights from Cision's 2019 Report

It’s here — Cision’s 2019 State of the Media Report! For its 10th annual report, Cision surveyed nearly 2,000 media professionals from 10 countries to get a sense of what media professionals felt was most important to their jobs.

Which factors were causing big changes? Which factors might cause more in the future? What’s the most important thing happening right now?

And how were all of these things different — and the same — around the world.

What we learned is that despite everything, trust in the media might actually be on the rise. Trust and relevancy are more important than ever when it comes to the public’s relationship with the media and it when comes to comms professionals’ relationship with journalists and the media.

We also learned that more decisions than ever are being driven by data and social media has a very complicated role to play, especially when it comes to publishing decisions.

You’ll find a full breakdown in the 2019 State of the Media Report, but here are a few interesting takeaways.

On Trust

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that roughly half the public population does not trust the media. So we asked the media what their impression of the public’s trust in them was; is it rising or falling? 63% of journalists believe the public lost trust in the media in 2019.

While this seems high, this is actually better than it’s been in years (it was 71% in 2018 and 91% in 2017).

Cision SOTM 2019: Distrust in the media is decreasing. When Cision asked journalists if the public lost or gained trust in the media over the last year, 63% feel the public lost trust. While this is still high, it's the lowest it's been in years.

Credit: Cision’s 2019 State of the Media Report

Trust is still low but seems to be increasing. Why is this? One possible side effect of the constant attacks on journalism around “fake news” is that they may have actually created a more informed public as these issues have received more attention.

More importantly, survey results tell us that the media industry as a whole needs to continue to work to regain and build on public trust. That’s a big challenge when news cycles are more tumultuous than ever and technology makes increasing demands on everyone at an increasingly faster pace.

How does this affect journalists? What does it mean for PR pros?

On PR Pros’ Relationships with Journalists

The insatiable news cycle coupled with the rise of opaque social media algorithms has built a publishing model that incentivizes quick turn-around on stories, giving journalists shorter lead time on stories and making their relationship with comms pros more important than ever.

When we asked, 27% of journalists said their relationships with PR professionals had gotten more valuable in 2019.

Why? Journalists are facing fewer resources and reduced staff, which is reflected in how they do their jobs:

  • 42% of respondents plan for future stories no more than a day in advance.
  • 35% of journalists publish seven or more articles a week.

What does this mean for PR pros? It’s important to be more respectful than ever of journalists’ time by sending targeted, relevant pitches. 44% of respondents said the #1 thing PR professionals could do is better understand their target audience. Before sending a pitch, journalists want PR teams to research the end consumer of the content and know who they’re pitching and what they find interesting.

While many PR pros already operate this way, the fact that some are not is reflected in the stats: 75% of journalists say less than a quarter of the pitches they receive are relevant or useful.

Another interesting finding: 65% of journalists would rather receive customized press releases segmented by product, industry or theme, rather than one mass-audience release.

The Bottom Line 

It’s no secret that the media industry is facing new challenges at unprecedented speeds, and these impact not only journalists but the PR and communications pros who work with them.

With that relationship becoming more valuable than ever to both sides, it’s important for comms and PR pros to recognize how they can make journalists’ lives easier by building more targeted, impactful pitches that keep the end consumer in mind.

Want more details?

Download the full 2019 State of the Media Report here.

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Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for TrendKite, a Cision company, where she can be found planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things integrated PR and social media strategy, and mastiffs.

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