One of the most important jobs of a communications professional is being able to “cut through the noise” and connect with the appropriate journalist at the right outlet at the right time. With thousands of emails flooding journalists’ inboxes each day, how can PR pros increase their chances of reaching the right contact? Propel, the PR productivity platform, recently published a study that gives PR professionals insights on how to be more effective when pitching. Results show that reporters are more likely to open a pitch sent to them between 12 -1 PM or 6 - 7 PM. While many feel that pitches that go out first thing in the morning are the most successful, results show that it can be beneficial to wait until midday. Pitches that are sent a little later into the workday are surprisingly 90 percent more likely to be successfully received.
Do specific days of the week have an impact, too? It’s an industry-wide trend to pitch on Thursday, for some unknown reason, with almost 25 percent of the week’s pitches being sent out. However, it’s time to rethink that habit. Research shows Monday through Wednesday are almost twice as likely to elicit responses from reporters than Thursday or Friday.
Separately, don’t hesitate to follow up. The Propel Study shows that, while only 48 percent of pitches get opened at all, the first 24 hours are critical for response rates. 50 percent of pitches get opened within the first hour, then plummets to less than 10 percent after the first day, without any follow ups.
“Following the data and pitching during the most engaged days and times can significantly increase the effectiveness of media relations efforts,” shared Zach Cutler, CEO and co-founder, Propel.
As an easy way to monitor your media relations effectiveness, below is a breakdown of the daily open rate of pitches sent:
Monday: 43 percent of pitches sent are opened
Tuesday: 62 percent of pitches sent are opened
Wednesday: 59 percent of pitches sent are opened
Thursday: 39 percent of pitches sent are opened
Friday: 35 percent of pitches sent are opened
Of course, these insights are helpful in getting your note noticed. It’s up to each PR pro to craft compelling content and reach the appropriate reporter based on their beat. Happy pitching!
The Propel pitching effectiveness study is based on 2,150 unique PR pitches emailed to reporters in 2019, including various users across dozens of agencies.