PR Pitches Pull Higher Open Rates And Lower Response: Report

PR people seeking to reach journalists have to keep only two letters in mind: AI. 

Reporters opened 91% the pitches they received about AI announcements, according to the Propel Media Barometer. But they responded (or answered) only 1.95% of them, compared to the average of 2.91% for all PR releases in Q1 2023. 

Pitches about solar energy drew an even higher open rate: 94.74% open rate, but were responded to only 0.87% of the time. 

In general, the average journalist open rate to PR pitches was 48.12% in Q1, an 18.8% improvement over the 39.11%  seen in  Q4 2022.  

“It’s possible that with the latest surge of AI in PR, subject lines are growing more enticing and optimized for what journalists are looking for,” the study notes.

However, the response rate fell from the 3.16% seen for the full year of 2022.

In terms of success, 96.63% of stories were published within one month of the pitch being received in Q1, versus 89.01% of stories in Q4 2022. 



In addition, these best practices came to light:

  • The most pitched topic and the one with the best response rate was “Business & Industrial
  • The best subject length: 1-5 words 
  • The best pitched lead length: 51-80 words 
  • The best pitch body length: 51-150 words
  • The optimal number of embedded links: 2-3 
  • The best day for pitch response: Thursday. 

The Propel Media Barometer is a quarterly data report based on activity on the Propel platform. 

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