The life of a news reporter often means reporting on strange or unusual events and stories – many nationals, including the HuffPost and Reuters, have dedicated sections just for them. One unusual news story that hit the headlines last month was the infestation of bedbugs in Paris, which led to ‘bedbug’ joining ‘Halloween’ and ‘Christmas’ as a popular topic for journalists using ResponseSource.
Want to know what type of PR requests and coverage opportunities are in high demand? Here is what the media are asking for in November and beyond.
Sign up for the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service to start receiving requests from the UK media straight to your inbox.
Christmas stays at number one
With less than 50 days to go now until Christmas, it’s unsurprising that it has stayed as the top keyword across all journalist requests on the Enquiry Service. The overall requests have increased by 5% from September, with a total of 18% of all incoming enquiries featuring the keyword Christmas.
The majority of Christmas enquiries centre around gift guide recommendations or advent calendars, with journalists at outlets such as The Guardian, Heat magazine and The Sun submitting requests last month. However, there have been enquiries focusing on other aspects of the festive season too, including ‘the Christmas trends of 2023’, ‘all in one Christmas dinner kits’ and a case study about ‘My first Christmas as a…’.
The variety of requests show that Christmas presents more than just opportunities to get products featured in the media, and there should be plenty more enquiries around this topic throughout November.
A lot of journalists, especially feature writers, will be planning content weeks and sometimes months in advance. While it may not officially start till next month, ‘Winter’ has become the second most popular keyword on the enquiry service, with 3% of the total requests featuring the word in October. This is 2% higher than ‘Autumn’ as a keyword.
Many of the requests with the keyword ‘Winter’ were focused around health and skincare. This meant a 21% increase for the health category from September to October as a result. Journalists at the Express.co.uk, The i paper, Stylist.co.uk and woman & home were all looking for information and experts around this topic.
The enquiries with ‘Autumn’ as a keyword were geared more towards days out and activities to try – the Travel category and Entertainment & Arts category both rose by around 20%.
AI on the agenda
Journalists have been using the Journalist Enquiry Service to source information and comment on AI for much of the year. and in October, use of the word in enquiries increased again as it cropped up in just over 2% of all enquiries. This was largely down to the AI safety summit that took place in the UK at the beginning of November.
Journalists were looking for information and experts to comment on the first event of its kind, as Rishi Sunak and other world leaders met with tech companies and civil society organisations to discuss the responsibility of using AI safely in all aspects of life. Several categories received a big boost because of this with the Computing & Telecoms category up by 34% and the Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal category increasing by 38%.
AI is likely to remain a pretty constant source of content for journalists so there should still be lots of opportunities to get experts included in titles such as Verdict, Reuters and BBC News.
A comeback for Covid?
Covid cases have been increasing in the last month and so have enquiries from the journalist community on the topic, making up just under 2% of the total requests.
The ongoing Covid inquiry was also a likely catalyst for the increase in reporting, meaning a 30% increase for the Medical & Pharmaceutical category. Requests have come from outlets including GB News, MailOnline, The Times, and the Financial Times.
Who is using the service?
Staff journalists are the main users of the service with 51%, followed by freelance journalists who account for 25%. The majority of journalists are from consumer media titles (36%) with national newspaper/current affairs outlets making up 25% and the trade/business/professional media just behind that at 17%.
Our report shows that 35% are looking for a spokesperson or expert. 26% put in requests for review products, with 20% needing information for an article and 10% of journalists trying to find a personal case study. The top ten outlets for October were evenly split, with five being national press titles and the other five from consumer media.
Opportunities coming up in November for PR and comms professionals
With Halloween and Bonfire Night now gone, Christmas is the main holiday for journalists to focus on. This will mainly be for gift guides and advent calendars, but as we’ve seen in October, there are plenty of opportunities available for PRs (hopefully not a return for the bedbugs).
This month is Movember and also has International Men’s Day (19th) so expertise around men’s health and mental health is likely to be needed. Alcohol Awareness Week (15th – 21st) also falls in November meaning a need for health expertise. Journalists will also be keen to find out the Black Friday deals (24th) that are available, opening up more chances to get products featured in national press and magazines.
Find out more about the Journalist Enquiry Service here.