Media briefing with CNBC

6 December 2017

A focus on quality over quantity is behind CNBC’s rapid digital growth this year, Cristy Garratt, CNBC’s head of social media and digital video, said at this morning’s Cision media briefing.

The broadcaster has seen web traffic to CNBC.com increase 40% in 2017. And its social media following is up 119% since the start of the year.

“What a lot of other newsmakers are doing out there is just trying to be responsive,” she explained. “But we are finding that those videos have a very short life and instead we focus on a ‘quality not quantity’ approach.”

Together with Noelle Murbach-Lami, CNBC’s head of news and programming, she briefed a packed auditorium at London’s Milton Court on the best ways to secure coverage on CNBC’s digital, social and broadcast channels.

A lot of ground was covered during the briefing. Here are just some of the key points that PRs should know:

1. CNBC operates a “first and exclusive” policy

CNBC prides itself on securing the best guests and setting the news agenda. To facilitate this, it operates a “first and exclusive” news policy.

“It means we have to be the first after a piece of breaking news, a big announcement you make or corporate earnings,” explained Murbach-Lami. “If you don’t come to us first, we don’t believe we can add as much value.”

2. It caters for an ‘influential’ and ‘aspirational’ audience

Murbach-Lami described CNBC’s broadcast audience as consisting of influential decision makers in high level jobs.

“We also have the aspirational audience,” added Garratt. “These are people who are quickly rising in their careers and are looking for the tool set that they need to enter those C-suite or leader positions. Our social audience is very young, very millennial and very ambitious.”

3. CNBC starts broadcasting at 6am each weekday

CNBC produces four hours of live TV out of London each weekday, with three dedicated to its flagship Squawk Box Europe show.

“Broadcast is funny because there’s a very clear structure to your day,” said Murbach-Lami. “A 3am–4am start is absolutely necessary if you know you’re going to air at 6am.”

CNBC.com offers users 24/7 business and financial news, covering stories that “move markets and affect peoples’ everyday lives.”

4. Consider the news context before pitching

CNBC is happy to receive phone and email pitches. But it’s important to consider both where and when your story might run.

“Don’t pitch when the world’s unravelling,” quipped Murbach-Lami. “Don’t pitch while we’re on air unless it’s related to something that’s just broken.”

Garratt added: “We have a moment to recalibrate and have a team meeting at 9:30am, where people make their pitches for the day.”


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