How to Increase Media Coverage

May 30, 2024
By Merrie Meyers
Featured image for “How to Increase Media Coverage”

Are you wondering how to increase media coverage for your newest publication, research or product? A survey conducted by Propel, a PR software platform, indicates extensive use of media pitches, despite limited success.

The survey analyzed more than one million media pitches that Propel users sent to journalists—and used the data from all of those that were opened in their report. The most recent survey (Q2 2021) of media responsiveness revealed that most pitches are opened quickly, but few receive responses. Approximately 35% are opened in the first minute, more than half, 52.45% are opened within 10 minutes, and 82% within four hours of arrival. However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Despite the favorable open stats, journalists responded to only 3.27% of the pitches received. With so many pitches being sent, competition for top of the mind awareness is stiff. On average, it could take about 31 media pitches to get a response.

Survey findings indicate the efforts that are most effective at generating media interest are relevance, specific and exclusive.


The data show a direct connection between key topic categories and journalist responses. Trending topics include emerging social, legal, government and political issues, technology, family, and parenting, and figuring out the “new normal.”


To craft a pitch that is opened, read, and responded to provide information (data and examples) that the journalists can use to tell the story. Customize the content for specific publications by becoming familiar with the platform’s content. Allow enough time for the pitch to be run up the chain of command for approvals.


The survey found the greatest degree of success occurs when a story is pitched to less than 10 outlets and contains customized, relevant information. For major announcements, an email blast to general media can be used as a follow up to the key pitch to specific journalists.

With these challenges to get media coverage through pitching alone, the best way to secure media coverage is to use a combination of approaches and media types. The four types of media are owned, shared, earned, and paid. They start with the media platforms that are most easily controlled and emanate outward. Think of them as the ripples a stone makes in a pond.

  • Owned media is media content that you prepare, and it appears on platforms you totally control such as websites and blogs.
  • Earned media is media coverage that results from those pitches. Its publicity provided to you by others and can result in a newspaper, trade publication or magazine/e-zine story, coverage or interviews on a broadcast platform or even shares from one platform to another. The benefit to this type of media is it is delivered through a third-party’s platform which carries greater credibility.
  • Shared media encompasses social media, which is prepared content that interfaces with key audiences. This includes internal audiences such as employees and suppliers, and external audiences, such as customers, influencers, policymakers, etc. These platforms, which include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and so on, are strong “go to” placements for important news content.
  • Paid media is prepared ads that are inserted into other platforms such as social media advertising or sponsored content, such as Facebook and YouTube ads.

Using a combination of media types to promote your content can also create a push-pull effect with journalists. Seeing your content in other locations can heighten or reinforce reporter interest. Although the process is most often completed in the order shown above, owned, earned, shared, paid, its often referred to as PESO, because it’s easier to remember.

Constructing a strategic plan to push out your information takes time, along with a lot of trial and error. Don’t get discouraged if your initial efforts don’t achieve the goal. Every attempt helps identify the approaches that don’t generate interest, narrowing down your path toward future success.

This article first appeared in Ruff Drafts, Fall 2021