The following article was submitted by Gina Joseph, Digital Engagement Manager at Cision. Here are 5 habits of millennial media and what that means when you pitch.
Like so many other J-School grads in the mid 00’s, I exited college with a journalism degree only to develop a career based around marketing and PR. But it has given me an interesting perspective on the relationship between journalists and PR pros, and helped me in my role when it comes to relating to the media.
For those journalism grads who landed writing and broadcasting jobs, the landscape has drastically changed from where it was 10 years ago. And with those changes came new skills, more responsibilities and a steep learning curve. So what’s the best way to catch the attention of the millennial media generation?
Ask them what they like to cover. With a leaner staff, outlets are requiring more breadth from journalists. This is particularly true for millennials who started their career in trying times for journalism. As a result, a quick search may not give you a clear picture of their preferred beat – so ask what they most like to cover or check their Cision profile for their comments and preferences.
Turn the supporting cast into the A-list.You’ll score points with millennial media if you share more than a headshot after they have interviewed your client. This generation of journalists know that great photos and video help their content perform better online. At web-only outlets like Gawker, the newsroom is run with a leaderboard that reports on performance of content in real time.
Be an authority.With fewer journalists and more content than ever, millennial reporters are spread thin. More than previous generations, millennials expect to easily find information on a potential source. If your client wants to be the authority on a topic, make it so on your website. Original content may just bring millennial media to you.
Follow their career.When millennial media move to a new outlet, say congrats! (Cision’s @media_moves Twitter handle will keep you apprised of recent outlet and journalist changes). You both have long careers ahead of you and staying in touch not only keeps you in-the-know, but can make your relationship that more productive (and happy). Find a good excuse to connect, even if it’s just sending a note on one of their stories you liked.
Find them on Social. Speaking of Twitter, building a relationship via social media is becoming more widely accepted, and you’d be hard-pressed not to find a millennial journalist on at least one social platform. Notice I didn’t say “pitching via social media,” as social is first and foremost a channel to engage and interact. Once you have built that relationship, you’ll know whether your media contact minds a pitch or two coming in through a tweet or Facebook message.
What are some tips you have with connecting with millennial journalists?
The past week or so has been exceptionally anxiety-ridden in the 24 hour news circuit. In the San Francisco office there is a television in the pit always set to CNN, which can either be incredibly informative or just plain sad and depressing. While I don’t believe in being positively ignorant, I do think you are allowed to put a filter on your news time and time again. The past few days I’ve tried to look for “Happy News.” Here are a few examples:
I read your blog every week and I thought why not ask for advice. Four years ago I graduated with a Public Relations & Advertising degree but didn’t end up working in PR.
I’m feeling extremely frustrated because the one internship I had wasn’t very good and I feel like I’ve wasted 4 years of my live in jobs that I didn’t like. I’ve always considered PR my dream job, but I have yet to take a step forward in my career. Right now I lack experience and confidence.
I am considering taking some courses of Intensive Public Relations and Writing for the Media. I would also like to complete another internship but do not know how to get a company to give me a chance. I live in Puerto Rico and there are not many opportunities here unless you have connections and unfortunately I don’t have any.
Do I still have a chance? Are there books that can help me?
Lost and Confused
You absolutely still have a chance! The most important factors for you will be networking and restructuring your resume. Make sure your resume properly demonstrates how your experience the past four years relates in some way to PR. Customer service, organization and multitasking skills. Taking some additional courses isn’t a bad idea at all. You can network within your classroom and get advice from your professor. It will also help you brush up on some of the skills you might have forgotten.
Since there aren’t many PR opportunities in Puerto Rico, set your eyes on a few agencies and go after them. Ask for informational interviews. Confidence is key in the PR industry. For your next internships, don’t let past experiences get you down. If you’re passionate about PR, you will find the right opportunity. Read our guide for more information and best of luck!