Journalists Are Quick To Open PR Pitches: Study

Journalists responded to 3.35% of the PR pitches they received in Q3, a 1.27% decline from the same period in 2020. Still, the rate was 0.10% higher than it was in Q2, according to the Q4 2022 Propel Media Barometer. 

Most stories appeared within three days of the initial pitch send time. And the majority of responses occurred within the first four hours. 

The average open rate was 40.28%

Propel analyzed 400,000 pitches PR people sent via the Propel platform during Q3 2022.

Reporters opened the majority of pitches within the first hour—55.92%.

But 12.5% are not opened within the first few days. 

PR people sent the most pitches on Tuesday (26.64%) and Thursday (27.78%).  But while journalists opened them (24.58% on Tuesday, 22.9% on Thursday), they responded most on Wednesday—4%. 



Here are some tactics for ensuring response, according to the study:

  • Most pitched topic with best response—“Food & drink” 
  • Best subject length—1-5 words 
  • Best pitch lead length—50-79 words. 
  • Best pitch body length—50 to 149 words.
  • The optimal number of embedded links—2-3 

News about company funding draws a 6.07% response rate.

The outlets with the highest response rates to pitches about company funding were Fortune (25.64%), The Wall Street Journal (16.46%) and TechCrunch (12.12%).  

Bylined article pitches do very well, with an average response rate of 26.5%. However, journalists like receiving a copy of the article right away, and they prefer 500-1,000+ words in length. 

Subject lines for bylined pitches work best with subject lines of 6-9 words—they draw a 39.25% response rate. The most pitched outlets—and their response rates— were USA Today (27.63%), the L.A. Times (13.19%) and the Washington Post (8.7%). 

2 comments about "Journalists Are Quick To Open PR Pitches: Study".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, October 12, 2022 at 7:23 a.m.

    No survey about the pestering phone calls asking, "Did you get my email?"

  2. PAUL DUGHI from, October 12, 2022 at 8:28 a.m.

    Unfortunately, so many of these press releases contain zero useful infromation that readers would find of interest. If the people writing them can't find a way to make the press release interesting, why would they think a reporter would?

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