If you’ve got a news story, one of the most difficult decisions to make is when to pitch it.
What day? What time? And why then?
Traditionally, many public relations professionals have pitched their news early in the week and early in the morning because most daily news media outlets have morning story meetings. Ideally, a journalist would read your pitch prior to that meeting.
But as with many other industries, times are changing. The pandemic has meant that many people are no longer working in the office or working the typical 9-to-5. That includes journalists.
At Dooley PR & Marketing, we use tools to help us send, monitor and analyze our pitches. Using those tools effectively means analyzing that data and using it to inform our media relations.
One of the tools we use is called Propel My PR. Propel allows us to build media lists and pitch out news items as required.
Propel releases “Media Barometers” to its clients quarterly, and offers data insights on the many pitches the software manages.
As you can see from the graph above, the highest percentage of pitches opened is happening not at 8 a.m., but between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
We still gravitate towards sending pitches earlier in the week for most projects. Many organizations consider Friday “garbage day.” It’s either a day to announce bad news, or it’s just a bad day to announce good news. News announced on a Friday tends to get lost in the weekend and therefore generates less coverage.
The last thing you want is your news buried in a journalist’s inbox as they get ready to hit the pub on Friday evening.
Thanks to Propel’s data, we’ve started pitching many of our stories later in the day and have seen some encouraging results. We’ve gotten significant media attention for multiple pitches since implementing the data’s suggestions.
There are nuances to the way respective publications and journalists operate, so this rule may not be absolute. However, we recognize the importance of synthesizing data, analyzing it and acting on the data’s suggestions. At least for now, it’s been working.
Propel even has the capacity to tell you about a specific journalist–when they are most likely to open up a pitch, what they most often write about, etc.
The point here is that there are general practices—traditional methods—to follow, but as PR pros and marketers we must also be aware of the trends and data. This increases your likelihood of media pickup and, ultimately, coverage of your brand.
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Our Winnipeg office is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Anishininiimowin (Oji-Cree) and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires) peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past and we seek to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of respect, reconciliation and collaboration.