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Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report: Top 5 Takeaways for APAC PR Pros

Cision State of the Media 2020 Report

PR Newswire’s parent company Cision has released its annual State of the Media Report, which covers the latest trends and challenges in today’s global media landscape, so that you can work more effectively with journalists and gain more media coverage.

In its 11th edition, this year’s report is Cision’s biggest one yet as it surveys more than 3,200 journalists in 15 countries. For the first time, more than 230 journalists in APAC also participated in the survey, which was conducted in January and February this year. The APAC participants are from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, it became crucial to find out how this global health crisis has affected the workflow of journalists. In light of these developments, Cision reached out to the media to find out more about how their editorial angles, pitching preferences and relationships with PR professionals have changed during this challenging period. These findings are highlighted in a special section of the report.

Here are 5 takeaways from the full 2020 State of the Media Report for PR pros who are based in APAC.

 

1. COVID-19 changed everything, but it also highlighted everything that hasn’t changed for the media

Cision State of the Media 2020 Report
A journalist talking about the types of stories that are prioritized in the COVID-19 media coverage. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)

 

Like the spread of the virus, the impact of COVID-19 on a journalist’s work is felt universally. As media coverage has shifted to focus on the pandemic, journalists still prefer to be pitched via email. With the increasing volume of pitches, coupled with tight budgets and lean resources, email pitches are the way to go. Researching on a journalist’s work before pitching is still important as some of them might have been deployed from their regular beats to cover the pandemic.

 

2. Distrust in the media continues to decrease in the eyes of journalists, but there is still work to be done

Fewer journalists believe that the public has lost trust in the media in recent years. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)
Fewer journalists believe that the public has lost trust in the media in recent years. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)

 

For the fourth consecutive year, journalists see a dip in the public’s distrust of the media. 59% of global respondents feel the public lost trust in the media this year, which is down from 63% last year. Echoing this view is the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on Trust and the Coronavirus, which shows that mainstream media is one of the first places that the public turn to for COVID-19 news.

However, journalists in APAC believe that more needs to be done to win over the public’s trust in the media. 53% of journalists in the region indicate that trust in the media has not substantially changed over the past year, which is higher than the global average of 36%.

 

3. Social media continues to play a complicated role in the work of journalists

 Cision State of the Media 2020 Report
(Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)

 

In APAC, about 4 in 10 journalists think that the intricate social media algorithm updates are the most important technology that will impact their work this year. This is about the same as the global average. More journalists are juggling conflicting interests: reporting accurately, competing against time to publish their stories on social media and finding ways to increase readership and engagement of their work online.

Other notable uses of technology in the APAC media scene include AI/Machine Learning, which was the top choice among journalists in Singapore and Vietnam, while their counterparts in Malaysia are prioritizing better video production technology.

 

4. PR outreach needs to be more targeted and relevant than ever before to stand out

 Cision State of the Media 2020 Report
An overwhelming majority of journalists do not find PR pitches relevant, which drives the importance of sending out more tailored and targeted pitches. (Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)

 

Email pitches to journalists need to provide more than cookie-cutter information. Pitches that are well-researched and tailored to the editorial direction of each media outlet stand a higher chance of getting follow-ups from journalists. In APAC, 42% of journalists indicate that their biggest need from PR professionals is to provide data and expert sources for their articles. This is higher than the global average of 32%. 

Pitches should include press releases, which are regarded as the most useful source of information from brands by 33% of journalists in APAC. This is almost on par with the global average of 36%. Email pitches should also showcase how the story opportunity is relevant to the media’s audiences and carry a clear news angle. 

The report also shows that PR professionals in APAC are doing a better job of ensuring that media pitches are relevant to the media. 37% of journalists in the region think that up to half of the media pitches they receive are relevant – surpassing the global average of 23%.

 

5. Ensuring accuracy remains the top priority for media organizations

 Cision State of the Media 2020 Report
(Source: Cision 2020 State of the Media Report)

 

Putting out accurate content continues to be paramount for the media. For the second year in a row, 51% of journalists say that ensuring content is completely accurate is more important than earning revenue or being the first to publish.

In APAC, 45% of journalists think that maintaining accuracy is the most important trait of their organizations. Most countries in APAC are on the same page. Journalists in Vietnam, however, place more importance on generating revenue and traffic than ensuring the accuracy of the content.

 

 

 Cision State of the Media 2020 Report

Download Cision’s 2020 State of the Media Report to get more journalist insights on pitching preferences, and trends and challenges in today’s complex media landscape so that you can create better relationships with the media and gain more coverage.

 


This blog post is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.