Emerging Media Outlets: Are They Worth Your Time?

In the last decade, dozens of new media outlets have emerged, introducing new challenges—and opportunities—for communications professionals working to help clients accomplish their goals.

This new media landscape makes it possible to reach various audiences more efficiently and effectively, as many new outlets are driven by a clear focus on a particular audience or topic area.

Mic and Upworthy, for instance, are two newer outlets that have shattered expectations and rapidly grown their audiences. These outlets both target the millennial generation—and it’s working pretty well: 60 percent of Mic visitors and 43 percent of Upworthy visitors are millennials.

Every month, Mic pulls in about 30 million unique visitors, and Upworthy gets about 25 million. They top some progressive favorites like The Atlantic and Vox, and now compete with outlets like TIME and Bloomberg in terms of web traffic numbers.

Both newer and seasoned public relations professionals might feel a bit lost when trying to pitch new media outlets or get the ear of their editors. Based on conversations with editors and staffers at a handful of newer media outlets, here are some tips to work with them:

  • Explicitly tell the editors how your pitch will cater to their audience. New media is becoming increasingly specialized, so a pitch that conveys the value to the outlet’s followers will go a long way.
  • Don’t shy away from alternate story formats, including video. Emerging outlets constantly experiment with finding the best ways to reach their audiences, and may suggest something that you are not used to. Upworthy recently reorganized its entire organization to aggressively produce original video content.
  • Look for special reports or ongoing series. Your chances will increase if you can make your pitch fit into an outlet’s specific effort to cover particular topics. Mic’s “The Movement is an example.
  • Get personal. It’s important to provide key information about the content itself, but also how you expect the outlet’s audience to react to it. For instance, Upworthy attributes its success to putting a human face on the deep societal issues the outlet regularly covers. So a good pitch would tell the editors how your story (or video!) could be framed to evoke a response.

Keep in mind that a growing number of outlets are targeting groups based on various interests, demographic profiles, and other factors. Their growing aptitude in doing so will inevitably be extremely valuable to communications professionals, as these outlets provide a more diverse array of partners in the media sphere. It’s up to us to capitalize on their success.

Looking to expand your media audiences? The Hatcher Group can work with you as a communications partner from start to finish. Contact us to see how we can help.

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