Half a million PR pitches explain earned media in Q3 2023
From April to June of 2023, PR pros sent another half a million PR email pitches through the Propel platform, which allows us to share all the latest trends in media relations today!
By analyzing this vast sample of PR pitches, we can now see how receptive (or not) journalists have been to PR pitches in the most current media environment, ranging from the average open and response rate to email pitches, all the way to the average time it takes for a story to publish, and more.
By downloading your free copy of the most up-to-date Media Barometer report, you’ll be best equipped to tell your story and meet your earned media goals:
Journalist Response Rates: A Continued Cause for Concern
The Q3 2023 Propel Media Barometer highlights a concerning trend—journalist response rates remain below 3% for the third consecutive quarter.
Despite a marginal increase in journalist responses between Q1 and Q2, this persistent decline in engagement signals a pressing need for PR pros to adopt new pitching tactics beyond the realm of traditional media outlets.
Recent industry developments such as Buzzfeed News' closure, Vice's bankruptcy filing, and substantial layoffs across multiple publications, underscore the urgency for PR pros to diversify their approach for optimal results.
Optimizing Your Pitching Strategy: Key Findings
The latest Propel Media Barometer presents noteworthy findings that can empower PR pros to fine-tune their pitching strategies and increase their chances of securing coverage.
Here are a handful of the key findings:
- Timing is Crucial: Tuesday remains the day with the highest pitching activity, comprising 27.27% of all pitches. Notably, journalists were most likely to respond on Tuesdays, with 27.73% of responses occurring on this day.
- Tailoring Your Subject Line: Subject lines containing 1-5 words achieved the highest response rate at 4.57%, although this bracket represented a smaller portion of pitches sent. Meanwhile, subject lines with 6-9 words garnered an average open rate of 3%.
- The Optimal Pitch Body Length: Pitches containing bodies between 51-150 words received the highest response rate at 6.53%, surpassing the previous quarter's results. Conversely, pitches with bodies between 501-1,000 words experienced a meager 1.81% response rate, indicating journalists' preference for succinct and focused pitches.
- Funding Rounds: A Contrasting Picture: Propel's analysis revealed intriguing statistics within the funding round pitching landscape. While the volume of pitches mentioning pre-seed and seed funding rounds skyrocketed by 551.16% compared to Q1, response rates for these categories plummeted by 67.41%. Series C pitch volumes saw a remarkable 413% increase, yet response rates decreased by 54.1%. These numbers emphasize the need for exceptional pitches to stand out amid the surge of funding-related communications.
Shaping the Future of PR
Zach Cutler, Co-Founder & CEO of Propel, urges PR pros to view the Q3 2023 Propel Media Barometer as a source of inspiration and resource in support of adaptability.
He notes that while the numbers indicate positive signs in specific sectors, we must acknowledge that the PR landscape has evolved and continues to do so, and response rates reminiscent of the past are unlikely to return.
High-quality coverage will always surpass sheer quantity, necessitating a thorough understanding of the changing media landscape from its practitioners.
Download your copy of the Q3 2023 Media Barometer here to gain more valuable insights and navigate the evolving PR landscape most effectively.