Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary

2009: the year we launched PitchRate. That doesn’t really sound that long ago, right? In the grand scheme of things, 10 years is a relatively short period of time… but in terms of the digital age, 10 years is something of a lifetime. Has PR changed much in 10 years? The answer to that question is integrally connected to how much technology and our use of it has changed since 2009.

Spoiler alert: there have been some big changes.

In 2009…

  • Facebook was only 5 years old (and Facebook brand/celebrity/business pages were only 2 years old).
  • YouTube was only 4 years old.
  • Twitter was only 3 years old.
  • Instagram hadn’t even been born yet! (October, 2010)
  • It was the first year we could auto-share videos directly from YouTube to social media.
  • YouTube boasted 1 billion views per day.

In 2019…

  • It is now commonplace for users to build relationships with the brands they love via Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
  • 68% of adults say they get their news from social media, with 43% specifically reporting they get their news from Facebook.
  • Video is more popular than ever, and YouTube’s daily views have increased from 1 billion to 5 billion.

Then vs. Now

We surveyed more than 250 journalists to discover how they were finding their experts. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the increased use of online tech outlined above, we discovered that journalists prioritized experts with a strong online presence.

  • Almost 60% of journalists cited Google as the #1 way they find sources.
  • 78% of journalists said they look for recognized experts when evaluating sources.
  • Journalists showed preference for experts with a strong social media presence over experts who had authored a book.

In summary, the media are looking for stand-out sources for their stories just as they’ve always done. The difference is, though, that they are now — by a vast majority — finding and vetting these sources online. What this means in practical terms is that those without a great website, an online press kit and a strong social presence are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to attracting the media’s attention.

2019 marks the 10 year anniversary of our free media-to-expert connecting technology, PitchRate.com.

When we first launched PitchRate in 2009, our goal was to provide a free database for media seeking great sources and experts seeking media coverage. Now, 10 years later, we see that online PR tools have graduated in status from “convenient” to “necessary,” particularly for experts who crave coverage.

Where will we be in 2029? Only time will tell. In the meantime, in PR, it pays to be nimble, stay on top of trends and meet the media where they are. Now more so than ever before, that’s online.