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The State Of Journalism In 2021

By March 24, 2021 August 1st, 2021 No Comments

Earlier this month, Muck Rack published the State of Journalism 2021, a study of more than 2,400 journalists about topics ranging from reporting during COVID-19 to preferences for working with PR professionals.

You can download the full survey results here.

Muck Rack conducted the research in partnership with Online News Association (ONA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Foreign Press Association (FPA), National Association of LQBTQ Journalists (NLGJA), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), and more than a dozen other journalism-focused organizations.

Here are the key findings from the survey.

Journalists are busier than ever before:
  • 94% of journalists say that some, most or all of their reporting has pivoted to angles related to COVID-19. 
  • While 19% of journalists say they have less work in general, 23% say they have a larger workload due to the layoffs and furloughs of others where they work.
  • The average journalist covers 3 or more beats.
  • The average journalist receives over 5 pitches per day but writes fewer than 5 stories a week, only a quarter of which come from pitches. 
On pitching:
  • Pitch length: 91% of journalists prefer pitches under 200 words. Nearly half (46%) prefer 1-200 words and a quarter (25%) prefer under 100 words. 
  • When: Time of day: 68% of journalists prefer to receive pitches between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. CDT. Day of week: journalists again cited Monday as their favorite day to receive pitches (57%), followed by Tuesday (20%). 

*From my experience, the best “news days” for pitches are Tuesdays through Thursdays.

  • 86% of journalists are OK with a follow up email within one week of the initial message. The other 14% prefer a follow up more than one week from the initial pitch.
  • 90% of journalists say it’s Ok to send at least 1 follow up email; 38% say 2 or more.
  • Channel: like in past years, 1:1 email is most journalists’ preferred pitching channel. Again, phone is the least popular channel, followed by social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

*I have found text and mobile phone calls for pitching and follow-ups are appreciated by my media network.

On social media:
  • 76% of journalists say Twitter is the most valuable social network to them, and 37% plan to use Twitter more in the next year.
  • 16% turned to Twitter as their first news source, a trend we’ve seen for the last 4 years 
  • 34% plan to cut back their use of Facebook
Working with PR Pros:
  • Only 6% of journalists see their relationship with PR pros as a partnership. 17% view it as a necessary evil, 18% describe it as antagonistic and 59% describe it as mutually beneficial, but not quite a partnership.
  • 61% believe the way most companies share information with the media is outdated.

Facebook to Label Vaccine Posts to Cure COVID-19 Misinformation

Facebook is adding informational labels to posts about vaccines as it expands efforts to counter COVID-19-related misinformation flourishing on its platforms.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post that labels will contain “credible information” about the vaccines from the World Health Organization. They will be in English and five other languages, with more languages added in coming weeks.

The social network is also adding a tool to help get users vaccinated by connecting them to information about where and when they can get their shot.

Facebook and Instagram have been criticized for allowing anti-vaccination propaganda to spread and for being woefully slow in weeding out the misinformation, often with fact-checks, labels and other restrained measures.

For years, Facebook and other social platforms have allowed anti-vaccination propaganda to flourish, making it difficult to stamp out such sentiments now. And their efforts to weed out other types of COVID-19 misinformation – often with fact-checks, informational labels and other restrained measures, has been woefully slow.

Glazed Mic: Krispy Kreme Sweetens Vaccine Reward

Krispy Kreme is sweetening the deal for getting a COVID-19 vaccine!

The famous doughnut maker is giving free doughnuts to anyone with proof of vaccination all year long.

Starting Monday, any customer with a valid COVID-19 vaccination card will receive a free original glazed doughnut at participating locations nationwide. The iconic doughnut shop specifies that any guests who have received at least one of the two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine qualify for the promotion.

All you need to show is your vaccination card to redeem your doughnut.

And if that’s not enough to have you scrambling to the vaccine line – get this – it’s not a one-time offer. Vaccinated individuals can go back every single day and continue getting free doughnuts through all of 2021.

In a news release, Krispy Kreme also said it plans to support health care workers and volunteers who are administering vaccines by delivering free doughnuts to vaccination centers across the country in the coming weeks. To continue encouraging company safety, it is also giving employees up to four hours of paid time off to get the vaccine.

For more than a year, companies have tried to hone their advertising to reflect the different phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the U.S. undertakes the largest vaccination campaign in modern history, numerous brands, including Tyson, Target, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and McDonald’s aretargeting the newly inoculated in what could be the start of the next phase of coronavirus marketing.

Some companies are offering similar policies. Some companies are giving staffers paid time off to get their vaccines.

The marketing industry has reacted to the pandemic as it unfolded, starting when brands last spring pulled planned campaigns and replaced them with somber messages acknowledging the “uncertain times.” They later began cautious marketing pegged to the end of the initial lockdowns. By last month’s Super Bowl, Budweiser skipped its usual in-game commercial and promised to redirect the investment toward vaccine awareness.

The next step by leading brands are promotions for the vaccinated.

Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. have announced initiatives to provide free or discounted transportation to vaccination centers.

Starbucks Corp. , which offered free coffee to front-line responders and health care workers at points last year during the pandemic, has lent assistance with other companies to Washington state’s vaccination drive, and is paying employees for their time while they are getting vaccinations. 

As of this writing, the U.S. has administered more than 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That equates to more than 35 million Americans fully vaccinated – 10.5% of the total U.S. population.

I’ve always loved Krispy Kreme – and now I love them even more – for cooking up this delectable cause to combat our crazy pandemic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

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