How And When To Pitch A Journalist

According to survey results from Business Wire’s annual report examining the current media landscape, best practices with journalists and effective ways to meet the media’s needs, today’s journalists are short on time and a proper online newsroom. Access to key features, says the report, can mean the difference between your inclusion in a story (with up-to-date and accurate information,) or your exclusion with the added injury of the insertion of a competitor, says the report. The study yielded data that enabled Business Wire’s Media Blueprint a more targeted approach to reaching and working with the media.

The study analyzed differences due to media experience from media veterans (15+ years), to experienced media (5-15 years) and media newcomers (less than 5 years); and variations between generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.

While the news release is the first and most important step to amplifying your message and reaching the right audience, says the report, the report leveraged strong media relationships to assemble this report as a blueprint to following up that outreach in an effective way.

If we view pitching and news releases as outbound media relations, online newsrooms and investor sites would serve as the inbound, says the report. The answers from journalists on how they utilize newsrooms will be helpful in determining if your organization’s website is properly organized to ensure that the media and analysts who need to conduct research can do so quickly and effectively.

This year the study evidence reveals when, where and how to reach today’s journalists. In addition to taking the pulse of modern media, the study found that many view the future of journalism as The New York Times (50%)

and BuzzFeed (45%). The outlets swapped places this year, with journalists placing a higher value on deeper, long-form news, versus quicker, bite-sized news packaging.

Key findings include:

  • Tuesday (34%) morning (61%) is the best time to pitch media; and Thursday (7%) evening (9%) is the worst time to pitch
  • Most journalists that use a newswire do so daily (53%) or several times a day (23%)
  • The top three social platforms have held steady the past three years: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; Twitter is No. 1, but for the first time in three years Facebook and LinkedIn tied for the No. 2 place
  • Use of YouTube had the largest year over increase at 25%
  • Interviews (51%) are the No. 1 video type most desired by journalists
  • 45% of journalists care about the social reach of a source or company
  • 75% of journalists refer to an online newsroom when researching an organization

61% say morning is he best time to receive a pitch And, afternoon is the most popular time to pitch media newcomers (less than 5 years) (42%) and Gen Z.. For media newcomers, evening is the second best time, and morning is the worst time.

The Best Time of Day to Pitch Media

  • Morning         61%
  • Afternoon       30%
  • Evening         9%

TV journalists get the highest number of unsolicited pitches daily with 53% receiving 1-25 a day, and 16% receiving more than 100 per day, says the report.

Unsolicited Pitches

% of Respondents

1 – 25


25 – 50


50 – 75




75 – 100


Source: Business Wire Media Blueprint, January 2017

The top two methods through which journalists prefer to receive breaking news have remained unchanged for the past three years. Last year the majority favored an email alert with a link to full press release (74%) or a newswire press release (21%). This study reports that 75% of newswire journalists (Associated Press [AP], Reuters, Agence France-Press (AFP) prefer a newswire press release.

60% of Gen Z chose an attention grabbing headline as something they look for in a release. As this younger set represents the future of our newsrooms, says the report, this news release feature could be growing in importance. These media groups use a newswire service several times a day:

  • Gen Z (50%)
  • Business/finance news (31%)
  • Newswire (58%) and radio (35%)

The story information journalists look for in a press release is:

  • Supporting facts… 65%
  • Interesting story angles… 62%
  • Trending industry topic… 53%
  • Powerful quotes… 23%
  • Attention-grabbing headline… 30%
  • Engaging multimedia… 17%

The rate journalists use newswires has remained unchanged for three years. Last year the most popular frequencies were also daily (29%), or several times a day (23%). The Business Wire’s annual report shows that:

The Frequency Of Journalists’ Use Of Newswire Services:

  • Daily… 30%
  • Several times a month… 24%
  • Several times a day… 23%
  • Several times a week… 15%
  • Weekly… 9%

 Business Wire study may be found here.




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