Journalist Enquiry Service September Trends
The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the sun is setting earlier and people are starting to wear jumpers and jackets again – yes, Autumn is finally here. The changing of the seasons in September also coincided with major change in the UK as Liz Truss won the battle for Number 10 to become our Prime Minister and Prince Charles became King Charles III.
It’s therefore little surprise to see that two of the most common keywords/phrases from the Journalist Enquiry Service in September were ‘Queen’, appearing in 2% of all enquiries and ‘Liz Truss’ cropping up in just under 1%. However, despite the news being dominated by the Royal Family and the Conservative party, the most popular keyword/phrase in September was ‘Christmas gift guide’ which appeared in 5% of all enquiries and ‘advent calendars’ also appearing in 3%.
With the demand for Christmas editorial high, it’s unsurprising that categories like Consumer Technology (40%) and Men’s Interest (42%) have seen big rises this month as journalists look to cover the best gadgets and gifts. Despite being our most selected category usually anyway, Women’s Interest and Beauty still increased by 15% and Food and Drink also had a small rise of 13% as journalists look for advice on Christmas sustenance alongside the presents.
Unfortunately, the cost-of-living crisis is continuing to rumble on and the phrase ‘cost of living’ appeared in 2% of all enquiries and ‘energy bills’ was in 1%. The Personal Finance category, as a result, rose by 7% and Manufacturing, Engineering & Energy leapt up by 23%. The Construction & Property category also saw a big increase of 27% which will largely be down to the housing market collapse which saw interest rates rise and have a massive impact on mortgages.
There was a 50% rise for the Environment & Nature category in September. This could be in part due to the upcoming COP27 in November or the fact that last month there was Recycle Week, highlighted in last month’s trends piece. Another potential trend highlighted from then was an increase in Halloween requests and the keyword ‘Halloween’ appeared in 2% of all enquiries with the Retail & Fashion category jumping up 22% – many journalists are looking to cover the best costumes for spooky season!
The Journalist Enquiry Service enjoyed another healthy month releasing pretty much exactly the same amount of requests as September 2021 but an increase of 7% compared to last month, August 2022. Staff journalists remain the main sender type with 55% of requests coming from them, followed by freelance journalists on 26%. Consumer media represented 35% of all media types with national newspaper/current affairs the second most at 24% and trade/business/professional media at 19%.
There was a bit of change when it came to the top ten outlets though with a drop to just five being national press, compared to seven in August. There were three consumer titles and two trade titles in the top ten and one regional press as well.
Similarly to September, October is likely to be dominated by requests for Halloween and Christmas meaning categories like Retail & Fashion, Women’s Interest and Beauty should perform well again. Health is likely to be a hot topic too as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and has Sober October, World Mental Health Day (10 October) and World Menopause Day (18 October).
October is also Black History Month which should prove a popular topic for coverage and there are several Food & Drink days this month including World Food Day (16 October) and International Gin & Tonic Day (19 October) meaning this category should remain popular. We would also expect the Personal Finance category to increase further as the ongoing energy and housing crisis look set to continue.
If you want to keep up with the latest trends in October then you can get all the information, case studies and expert opinion you need from the Journalist Enquiry Service by filling in our quick and easy form here.