Media Opens 60% of Pitches; Reporters Look for News Value, Authenticity and Personalization

Every PR pro has heard a variation on the statistic about there being far more communicators than reporters. The most recent news peg reporters used to cover this dismal (for reporters) item was the poor prognosis for newspapers from Warren Buffett. The billionaire investor said in a late-April interview with Yahoo that he’s unenthusiastic about the future of most newspapers. The decline in ad revenue has made the majority of newspapers “toast,” he said.

More PR Jobs

From there reporters at Bloomberg mentioned Census Bureau statistics saying PR pros outnumber journalists by more than 6 to 1, up from 2 to 1 two decades ago.

Social media will result in even more PR jobs. The Labor Department predicted April 12 communications gigs will rise to 282,600 in 2026, up 9 percent from 2016. News jobs, though, are forecast to fall 9 percent to 45,900 over the same period.

Added to these predictions is the anecdotal evidence that the one reporter in the 6:1 ratio is doing the job of two or three. (Let’s not even discuss the gap in salary between PR pros and journalists.)

This unbalanced ratio is leading some communicators to incorporate more owned content and other non-earned-media tactics into their strategies. [We’ll explore this next month.

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