How to evolve pitching strategies in response to “Page-view Journalism”

12.14.2012 | Melissa Cafiero

Many say journalists need PR people as much as PR folks need journalists. And just as many people would disagree. But with the evolving media landscape – shifting from offline to online – one thing is clear: Both professions need readers who increase page views.

In his post, “The changing role of PR in the era of ‘Pageview Journalism,’” Tom Foremski posits that the need for more page views – rewarded by publications with increased pay or titles – translates to reporters who write stories that attract more readers, increasing page views. While this seems logical, past print publications relied more on readership numbers as a whole, so stories could run the gamut from salacious news to niche profile and trend pieces.

With this evolution and an emphasis on page views, how does that affect our work as PR pros pitching stories to media – or affect our clients who want coverage for their news? When pitching, we need to highlight certain aspects of a story that would “sell” it to a reporter, such as:

  1. Broad appeal – A broader appeal means more people will be interested in reading, resulting in more page views. If your client isn’t a national company or well-known brand, identify another component that would attract more readers (e.g. well-known customer, an overarching trend or an issue that affects many people).
  2. Drama – It’s human nature for drama and conflict to be appealing. Is your client disrupting an industry with new technology? Did your client save a customer millions of dollars? Is there a big-name brand that could be more successful by partnering with your client? Tell that story.
  3. Relevance – Make sure your pitching target(s) is actually writing about your topic. Additionally, ensure the readership of the outlet is the right audience for the story. Above all, make sure the pitch itself is relevant; don’t pitch a story that’s too old or too far in advance. Timing is critical.

How has “page-view journalism” affected your success with pitching? What other ways do you recommend for pitching stories to journalists focused on page views?



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Filed under: Execution, EXPERTISE, INDUSTRY, PR trends, Strategy

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