Journalists: Stop bothering us with pitches in the morning

A study by marketing platform Propel asked the age-old question of when is the right time to pitch?

Photo credit: Getty images
Photo credit: Getty images

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: Journalists just aren’t morning people, at least when it comes to getting pitched story ideas, according to a study by PR platform Propel.

Reporters are 90% more likely to open a pitch sent between noon and 1 p.m. than 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to 2,150 unique story ideas sent from dozens of agencies. Meanwhile, pitches sent between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. are 40% more likely to be opened than those sent between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

"It’s hard to know the reasons why; it could be a variety of factors," said Zach Cutler, cofounder and CEO of Propel. "For example, that [9 to 10 a.m. period] could be when they’re getting into the office. Maybe they need a couple hours to write their previous stories or get them into the queue. Or maybe that’s when they have meetings with their editor and team."

The likelihood of a pitch being opened also depends on the day of the week. Tuesday is the best day of the week, with 62% of pitches being opened, followed by Wednesday (59%), Monday (43%), Thursday (39%), and Friday (35%), according to the study.

Cutler said bad pitching practices come from a lack of education and awareness. "As someone who used to run a PR agency, I just feel there weren’t enough data insights available," Cutler said.

As a whole, emailed pitches don’t fare well: 54% of them aren’t even opened. Even if they are, that generally happens within the first hour of receipt, the study found. Eighty percent are opened on the same day of receipt. After that, the odds of a pitch being opened without a follow-up drops to less than one in 10.

Propel, which bills itself as a CRM for PR, launched in 2018 with a $10 million valuation.

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