To kick off the new year, tap these top five trends from Padilla’s media relations experts to make your communication plans more effective all year long.

1) Listen up: We’re all ears for audio channels

Radio is often the forgotten channel in earned media strategies. But audio channels are enjoying a revival with podcasts, customized audio and radio streaming services.

Today, 91% of Americans listen to radio (Nielsen). And millennials are consuming more audio than any generation (IPSOS). Give radio and podcasts more play time on your 2020 media lists.

2) Don’t pitch and miss: Invest in reporter research and relationships

What’s a sure way to alienate a journalist? Send a pitch that misses the mark — with content that doesn’t relate to their beats, interests or publication.

Better yet, invest in research that will lead to stronger relationships. Kick off 2020 by choosing the top five outlets for your key stakeholders. Then allot time daily to connect with those reporters in meaningful ways, using social channels and thoughtful comments that align with their interests and goals.

3) Viva video: Bring your stories to life

Seeing is believing. Yet every day, potentially compelling stories fail to gain coverage because they lack video. ChiefMarketer estimates that 85% of total internet traffic is video. And youth are averaging 4 hours and 44 minutes a day watching videos (CommonSense Media).

In 2020, resolve to include a video component with every story pitch and on all your organization’s media channels (newsroom, blog and website).

4) Must-do: Appoint a trend-watcher

Does your team have a media data and trends analyst? If not, ask someone to review and report on daily trends and analytics that impact your industry. Then position your stories to ride the current news waves and extend your thought leadership.

5) Focus on freelancers for storytelling opportunities

As the nation’s newsrooms continue to shrink, Padilla media relations experts are seeing the rising influence of freelancers. The silver lining? Independent journalists are more open to visits, connecting through LinkedIn and providing content opportunities.

Traditional media outlets are also exploring new channels. YouTube and Twitch shows, and expanded social media channels, such as Quick Take Bloomberg, are prime targets for outreach.

I’d love to hear what you think of these and other media relations trends you see. And if you’re wondering whether your company is hitting the media relations mark, take this short “Storytelling Readiness Quiz.”

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