MuckRack: Pitch your story ideas to journalists by 11 am

The research, which was conducted in partnership with MDC Partners, asked MuckRack's community of journalists a series of online questions to understand members of the media and how they like to find and be pitched stories.

NEW YORK: Journalists prefer to be pitched between 9 and 11 am, and many find Twitter to be their most valuable social network, according to a survey from media-monitoring service MuckRack.

The research, which was conducted in partnership with MDC Partners, asked MuckRack’s community of journalists a series of online questions to understand members of the media and how they like to find and be pitched stories. MuckRack, which provides tools to locate, monitor, and pitch journalists and bloggers, conducted the survey in the last month and received 279 responses.

Gregory Galant, cofounder and CEO of MuckRack and Shorty Awards parent company Sawhorse Media, said some research confirmed the organization’s beliefs on topics, such as that journalists gravitate to Twitter for news.

Galant added that he thinks the largest group (43%) said they prefer to be pitched in the morning because they are under pressure to quickly figure out what they are going to write all day.

"Even though there is a 24-hour news cycle, journalists can’t stay awake 24 hours a day, so there’s still a cycle where you go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and plan out your day," he explained.

Another key finding was that the largest group of journalists (41%) Google sources before using other social platforms, searching their own networks, or asking people they know for recommendations.

Ninety-two percent of reporters said they prefer to be pitched via email, and 91% said they respond to pitches from people they don’t know.

Galant explained that it is also important for communicators to know that 58% of journalists say two to three paragraphs is the ideal length for an email pitch, while 68% of reporters and editors say one follow-up about a pitch is acceptable.

Lack of personalization is the key reason why journalists immediately reject pitches, in addition to irrelevant subject matter, according to 27% of respondents.

MuckRack partnered with MDC on the survey to help it spread the word about results and to receive input into the questions for journalists.

"This research takes us one step further into the mind of today’s modern journalist, showing just how essential timing, brevity, social media, and email communications are to effective media relations," said Michael Bassik, MD of MDC’s strategic comms group of agencies.

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