4 Key Media Trends for 2015: Mobile, Digital, Native, and Visual

Takeaways from the Cision State of the Media report.

Today Cision released its latest annual “State of the Media” report (press release here and full white paper here).

The key word, as demonstrated by the pie chart below, is MOBILE.

mobile mobile


You might think that the emergence of such “new digital brands” as Vox, The Intercept, and Re\code would be the top story of 2014 among journalists, but it’s all about existing properties going digital and optimizing for phones and tablets.

They’re also interested in new revenue sources. Despite Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker’s 2013 comment calling native advertising/branded content a “Faustian bargain,” many journalists have accepted native as the next big thing:

native ads


Most don’t even see it as an ethical compromise…and that’s good, because all of their competitors are already doing it.

native ads 2

We spoke to Kristen Sala, Cision’s director of media research, for her takes on the survey’s findings. (Those findings came from an 80/20 mix of US and Canadian journalists drawn randomly from Cision’s media database.)

On the most significant change in the traditional media model:

“36 percent of respondents told us that the move toward mobile compatibility was most important trend; it beat out native advertising, investment in digital, and the use of video and imagery on social media. A whopping 90 percent of journos said that mobile was really key to their success moving forward.

Of course, as Sala tells us, these findings reflect a need for many increasingly busy readers to “consumer news on the spot”…”people want news in short, fast snippets,” so there’s been “a huge rise in traditional media outlets restructuring their operations.”

In fact, newsrooms today more closely resemble agency content production studios than ever before.

The survey also found that journalists primarily use social media to promote their own work and find contacts for “relationship-building” — in other words, for PR. From Sala:

“Twitter has a reputation as the sort of thing you use for work while Facebook is for your personal life, but journalists actually use them in the same way…the numbers lined up evenly.

70 percent use both primarily for self-promotion, but ‘building relationships’ was a close second (62 percent for Twitter and 65 percent for Facebook).”

There’s a gap in these results: 26 percent of journalists said they use Twitter for “lead generation” while 23 percent said the same about Facebook while very few prefer to interact with sources on social:

  • 15 percent of participants like to receive pitches on Twitter
  • 16 percent are open to pitching via Facebook 

Journalists are also very keen on video:

  • 64 percent regularly utilize images to promote their own work
  • A majority want PR to include multimedia resources when pitching

What are the key takeaways for PR?

“It’s important to consider including some sort of video or images with pitches — this fits with the general trend of outlets focusing more on mobile/digital, which are very image-friendly.

On social networks: use them to develop relationships, but hold off on pitching directly until that relationship has been forged.”

What’s the best way to forge that relationship? 

“Reaching out before the pitch to talk about the company you’re repping, getting to know they journalist and understanding the topics they cover and their tone, reviewing recent bylines, and getting a feel for the types of information you need to send when pitching.

This could take the form of an ‘I’d like to send this pitch, would you be interested?’ email. A quick introduction sends the message that the subsequent pitch will be tailored to the journalist and that the PR respects both their time and the work that they do.”

Click here for the full infographic.

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