The perfect email pitch of 2022
Spring has finally arrived and not only does that mean fun weather, but also new data. Yes, that’s right, the Q2 2022 Propel Media Barometer is here!
For this study, we analyzed roughly 400,000 real pitches that PR pros sent to journalists from 2022 to find out what makes up the perfect pitch.
As journalist response rates continue to wane, it’s becoming increasingly paramount that PR pros experiment with data-based ways to pitch and share stories that resonate with relevant media contacts that specialize in a particular area.
Believe it or not, the average journalist response rate to media pitches went from 3.53% in 2021 to 3.37% in Q1 of this year. This indicates that there was a stark decline of 14.7% in the average journalist response rate to pitches.
This study will guide you through a data-driven approach to pitching in 2022 and share reasons why some pitches perform much better than others and why some are not yielding valuable results.
Here are a few of the key findings from the report.
What is the Propel Media Barometer?
The Propel Media Barometer is a quarterly data report that we share to help comms pros with their craft. Whether you are pitching journalists or managing a team, these reports about the media relations landscape can make you a more effective PR pro.
Because of Propel’s PRM email integration features, we are uniquely able to anonymously aggregate data from our users’ media pitches to form deductions about journalist open & response rates, pitching preferences and the best & worst times to pitch, and much more.
For our reports, we analyze data from millions of real pitches to journalists! From here, we find out what the media is looking to cover (or not), and what proves to be the best way to engage with media contacts.
As a PR enthusiast, I’m sure you’re wondering:
- How much have the average journalists' open & response rates altered from one year to the next?
- How exactly do I make a strong impression with an email pitch?
- What should the body of a pitch include, and how can I make the most of it?
- When is it most ideal to send a pitch?
The Q2 Propel Media Barometer has answers.
Q2 2022 Research Highlights
The Top 10 Most-Pitched Topic Categories
Below, you’ll find the most-pitched topic categories from Q1 2022. See the average journalist response rate (%) to each topic category as well. As you can see, most pitches across the board are not getting responses from journalists.
“Health & Fitness,” for example, was the fourth most-pitched topic category of the quarter, but it had one of the lowest average journalist response rates (1.97%). And the lowest average response rate of the most popular topics was to pitches relating to “Education” (1.57%).
This emphasizes how important it is to pitch to journalists about stories that are specifically relevant to the topics they cover, and not to send the same impersonal pitch to several contacts at once. Goodbye spray-and-pray!
Keep the email subject short and sweet
Less is more with effective subject lines in PR pitching. Your email might only have a few minutes or even seconds at the top of a journalist’s inbox, so getting your contacts what they need quickly will give you the best chance at reaching the mutual goal of meaningful news coverage in the end.
In Q1, the most engaging subject lines were 1-5 words long while the least engaging subject lines were the longest (16+ words).
What makes for an attention-grabbing story pitch?
The most engaging pitch leads were 50-79 words long and journalists engaged the least with pitches that had leads exceeding 150 words. More proof that nobody wants to read an email novel!
And overall, journalists responded the most to the shortest pitches and the least to the longest pitches.
Timing: Send & Open & Response Times
Which day of the week is best for sending out pitches?
Research continues to show that despite prevailing wisdom that mid-week pitching is the way to go, Friday is the day that PR pros face the least competition from other story pitches.
Of all days of the week, Friday had the highest average journalist response rate relative to pitch volume.
Want to see the perfect pitch of 2022? Access the full Q2 Media Barometer report here!