The number of PR pitches that got a response from journalists improved slightly in 2022’s third quarter, but continue to be down overall from years prior, according to the latest Propel Media Barometer survey.

Propel’s quarterly report, which analyzes media pitches and breaks down the best time to send them as well as the content most likely to yield a response from the press, found that journalists responded to an average of 3.35 percent of the pitches they received in 2022’s third quarter, which is 0.10 percent higher than the 3.25 percent average that reporters responded to in Q2 but still a 1.27 percent decline from the same period in 2020.

Pitching response rates have continued to slide since 2020. For comparison: The average journalist response rate was 3.53 percent in Q2 2021, 3.37 percent in Q1 2022 and 38.81 percent in Q1 2020.


Reporters opened an average of 40.28 percent of the pitches they received in Q3, according to the report, also slightly up from Q2’s average open rate (37.78 percent) as well as Q1’s (36 percent) average open rate. Journalists opened the majority of pitches they received within the first hour (55.92 percent), although 12.5 percent weren’t opened for several days.

The report suggests that if a journalist is interested in your story, chances are they’ll respond quickly. Most responses from journalists (58.66 percent) occurred within the first four hours after they received the initial pitch, and most stories that were published appeared within three days of receiving that pitch. After day three, however, there’s less than a 12 percent chance that PR pros will receive a response.

Propel’s report also found that journalists respond to bylines about seven times more (26.5 percent) than pitches overall. Food and drink stories comprised the topic that garnered the best responses from journalists.

Tuesday appears to be the most popular day for PR pros to send pitches (26.64 percent), followed by Thursday. Accordingly, the report discovered that journalists opened more pitches on Tuesdays (24.58 percent) and Thursdays (22.9 percent) than any day of the week. However, they responded the most on Wednesdays (four percent).

The report found that the ideal body length of pitch stands somewhere between 50 and 149 words. The best subject-line length is between one and five words.

Propel’s Q4 2022 Propel Media Barometer survey analyzed more than 400,000 pitches PR pros sent to journalists via the Propel platform during Q3 2022.