Post-COVID-19: Business Press Don’t View PR as Partners

For the last 15 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted publications in nearly every industry. Outside of the various layoffs and furloughs, many reporters were forced to put their existing beats on hold virtually overnight to focus on covering the pandemic. For over a year, almost every journalist has been a health reporter in some capacity. A quick search shows over 17 million articles have referenced COVID-19 in the U.S. since the pandemic began.

Now, as coverage shifts to economic recovery and journalists begin to return to their original beats, communications teams must also pivot their outreach strategies to successfully reach high-profile business media. MuckRack’s recent State of Journalism 2021 report revealed 59% of journalists view their connection with PR pros as mutually beneficial, but not quite a partnership. This number fell from 64% in 2020.

Perhaps the most startling statistic from the report? Only 6% of reporters said they view their relationship as a partnership. Oof.

It is not enough to time pitching to trending stories, although that is an important component. To reach this highest tier of media, PR pros need to be partners with the media, and that means thinking hard about the value their pitch is bringing to the reporter before hitting send. Is having this information going to make their job easier? Does it reflect their most recent coverage? If you can’t answer these questions with a resounding yes, you need to rethink your strategy.

Read more about how business press have changed their focuses since the start of the pandemic by checking out our previous blog.

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