Industry reaction to Cision's 2019 State of the Media report

Since its launch two weeks ago, Cision’s 2019 State of the Media report sparked discussion in both the communications and journalism industries.

Communicators have gained some valuable insights from the report’s findings. Below is a selection of the comments we’ve received about State of the Media from both comms professionals and journalists.


Richard Griffiths, director, strategic communications, Ketchum London:

“Cision’s latest report is a blueprint for the fast evolving modern media landscape. One of the key findings is how much data driven insights are helping journalists understand their audiences even better. For communicators, that underlines the importance of sharing stories that are truly relevant to readers. This report is a must-read for anyone who deals with the press in any capacity.”

Rob Ettridge, partner, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry:

“The Cision State of the Media report provides a great take on the industry for PRs, publishers and journalists alike. With some 2,000 journalist responses it’s a significant piece of research.

“It’s interesting to see that in an era of ‘fake news’, trust in quality media outlets is beginning to return. Concerns highlighted around social media bypassing traditional media is certainly a challenge, and an opportunity, for us all.

“But the report clearly shows that some things don’t change – PRs still need to provide relevant and targeted pitches to have any hope of success with the media!”

Sue Roberts, managing partner, Clarion Communications:

“The Cision State of the Media report provides a great window into the ever evolving media industry; helping to update PRs on variables such as preferred content format for journalists, as well as serving as a good reminder of journalists’ needs and the ongoing challenges in the industry.

“The report reinforced the thinking behind our strategic approach for a recent new business pitch, focusing on tailored journalist content based on what they consume as individuals.”

Niki Wheeler, director, Launch:

“This report reinforces that the old comms adage that journalists are our second set of clients and that you are only as good as your last media pitch. In this era of fake news and economic uncertainty, trust between media contacts and PRs has never been more needed.

“Some of our trusted media contacts date back to the start of our careers here at Launch – but can never be taken for granted. And with media contacts also under pressure to deliver across multiple channels, any campaign launching needs to deliver well targeted, accurate pitches supported by high quality materials with a clear peg – and spokespeople who can deliver on the day.

“In that sense, not a lot has changed or is likely to change for the foreseeable.”

Nicole Wilkins, publisher, Foresight News:

“This report demonstrates how important it is for communications professionals to ensure the releases they’re sending to journalists are targeted, relevant and timely. Clear news hooks, knowledgeable spokespeople, and original content are key to getting journalists’ attention and securing coverage.

“The data shows that too many journalists still find their interactions with PRs frustrating, but the report provides some good advice on how those relationships can be improved to make them more valuable for everyone.”

Kirsty Leighton, managing partner, Milk & Honey PR, responding to the fact that 71% journalists are most interested in press releases and news announcements from PRs:

“It is rather disappointing that the media surveyed still see the role of PR as the providers of press releases above all else. As an industry, we have worked hard to evolve and extend the content we develop. Frequently working in partnership with media outlets across all their channels to create hard working, informative content. The good news is that confidence in real news is returning and among the media itself accuracy is held in highest regard.”

Peter Mitchell, group MD, markettiers, responding to how fake news has impacted upon the way brands communicate news:

“2019 is the year that ‘true news’ made a welcome return to prominence as increasing numbers of people see through social driven influencers and return in droves to the BBC and Sky etc. as a source of unbiased information.

“Interestingly, 2019 is also the year commercial radio, via Global, made enormous dis-investment in local news, which I believe may ultimately prove commercial suicide as audiences appear to be seeking information from sources they trust most historically.”

Ellen Stewart, head of platforms, PinkNews, responding to 65% of journalists believing that detailed audience metrics have changed they way they think about stories:

“For a specialist publisher such as PinkNews it is really important to listen to our audience. Content that really resonates with the community – the stories people share, comment on, write to us about – informs our editorial output.

“One of the joys of working for a minority publisher means that listening to data doesn’t equate to compromising your integrity as a news publisher, in fact that data goes a long way to ensure we are staying true to our values as an intersectional, international, and inclusive publisher.”

Sharron Livingstone, managing editor, The Travel Magazine, responding to 65% of journalists wanting to receive customised releases rather than mass-audience mail-outs:

“In an ideal world all press releases would be customised. However, it is also down to the journalist to discern the value of information they receive even if it’s a round-robin.”


Discover the insights contained the 2019 State of the Media report by filling in the form below and downloading your copy.

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About Alister Houghton

Alister writes about the PR and comms industry as content marketing manager at Cision. Send press releases, interview pitches, Inside the Campaign/PR case study examples and thought leadership pieces to alister.houghton@cision.com