Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact on newsrooms, PR and communications professionals generally don’t believe that earning media coverage has gotten any more difficult in the last year, according to a recent media relations report by Agility PR Solutions.

Agility’s survey, which asked more than 3,700 PR and communications professionals about their media relations practices and how they generate coverage, found that fewer than a third (30 percent) of PR and communications professionals reported experiencing more di­fficulty earning press coverage since last year. A majority of respondents (38 percent) said their media outreach success was about the same as it was in 2020, and more than a third (35 percent) said that earning coverage has actually become easier in 2021.

Respondents with more senior titles (such as directors, VPs and C-level communicators) generally had a more positive outlook on the difficulty of earning coverage and were more likely to believe that getting coverage has become somewhat less difficult over the past 12 months.

The survey also found that a majority of PR and communications pros (69 percent) regularly send their pitches to lists containing up to 100 media contacts. A quarter of all respondents said they stick to lists of 25 contacts or fewer. About the same number said they pitch between 101 and 250 journalists at a time.

Agility PR: Nearly 70 percent of PR and communications professionals said regularly send pitches to lists of up to 100 media contacts at a time.
Nearly 70 percent of PR and communications professionals said regularly send pitches to lists of up to 100 media contacts at a time.

When it comes to the extra content communicators add to their pitches, 45 percent said they think video footage increases the chances their story will land coverage. 44 percent said exclusive interviews help their story get picked up the most. 38 percent cited links to web pages or documents, 35 percent cited high-quality images, and 2 percent cited research data.

In terms of the follow-up, almost all respondents (89 percent) said they reach out to journalists after the initial pitch. The majority (59 percent) said they wait between two and three days after their initial pitch, but more than a quarter (27 percent) said they follow up sooner, waiting only a day. The rest (14 percent) said they wait between four and seven days.

Agility’s Media Relations Survey Report polled 3,787 respondents in May. Approximately 44 percent of respondents said they work for a PR/communications agency, 42 percent work for an in-house PR department and 14 percent work as solo practitioners/consultants.