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Over the last decade, the rise of digital PR has revolutionised how brands communicate with their audience online, both in the UK and the US.

However, in recent years, more and more countries are catching on to this wave of marketing, and now France has become a fertile ground for global brands keen on earning or diversifying their backlink profiles and boosting SEO through European PR strategies.

With that being said, the French market presents several unique challenges and opportunities that are distinct from the UK, US, and other European practices, but they can be overcome.

From our experience of working in the French market, we’ve pooled our knowledge together to compile a useful guide that explores the key differences in the French media landscape, including consumption habits, popular news outlets, and social media usage.

Additionally, we’ll offer a few invaluable tips for brands seeking to navigate the French market and how to craft successful digital PR campaigns in this region.


The current state of news consumption in France

Despite the worldwide digitisation of news, the consumption of traditional media remains imperative throughout France, with much of the population getting their news via TV, radio, or print newspapers.

Currently, television reigns supreme as the most popular medium for consuming news and entertainment in France. Thanks to flagship networks like TF1, and public broadcasters like France Televisions, television channels play a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and disseminating information.

But alongside TV, newspapers also maintain a significant presence in the French media landscape. With over 100 daily newspapers available across the country, including respected publications like Le Monde and Liberation, print media continues to serve as trusted sources of news and information for French readers.

However, recently, many digital media platforms have emerged as pivotal players in shaping news consumption behaviours in France. ‘’ was the most visited news site in France in June 2023, with online publications like and rounding out the top three, highlighting the increasing digitalisation of news consumption in France.

Social media has also become an integral part of the French media landscape, with platforms like Facebook, YouTube, X, and Instagram commanding a large user base. So much so that a 2023 report revealed that 80.5% of French people are active on social media1.

In fact, competition from social media influencers has become quite a contentious issue for traditional media outlets, who are increasingly seeing many of their readers move to more readily accessible content.


What are the key differences between the UK and French markets?

Based on our experience in executing PR campaigns across France, it’s important to understand there are several key differences between the French and UK media landscapes.

From differing consumption habits, content preferences, and media practices, here are some distinct characteristics that set the two media landscapes apart:

1. Tabloid newspapers don’t exist in France

One notable difference between the UK and French markets lies in their media preferences. While UK audiences may gravitate towards tabloid-style content, the French media landscape differs significantly.

Case and point, in France, the coverage of lighter lifestyle articles commonly found in UK tabloids like The Daily Mail or The Sun, is not typically featured in mainstream media.

And while there are some French platforms dedicated to celebrity gossip, they tend to focus on different aspects of news and entertainment compared to their UK counterparts.

As a result, PR campaigns tailored to the UK tabloid audience may not resonate with many French media outlets.

2. French news is often more ‘serious’ than UK news

In France, media stories are typically favoured when they are backed up with data, interviews, and reports from credible sources. This contrasts sharply with the UK media landscape, where shorter, less substantiated, ‘fluffy’ stories often feature heavily.

Part of this difference is due to the challenge of French media in the past years trying to promote itself as a trusted source of information that fights against fake news. So, before covering a topic, French journalists usually ask themselves three questions:

  1. Is this content 100% accurate?
  2. Will it help me be seen as a trusted source of information?
  3. Will it boost my number of readers?

Therefore, to capture the interest of French audiences and journalists, PR campaigns should emphasise authenticity and relevance, incorporating elements such as surveys, national data, or expert interviews.

3. Remember cultural differences

Central to effective PR in France is an understanding of the many different cultural norms, values, and communication styles present across the country. For example, French people have a different sense of humour to Brits, which could impact the success of your PR campaign.

This means that, if your PR campaign is only suited for Brit’s self-mockery and dark humour, it would not make sense to a French audience as they tend to favour irony, second-degree jokes, and cynical humour.

4. Rethink your outreach approach

Surprisingly, the famous #journorequests hashtag doesn’t exist in France, so any PR professional thinking of using X as a pitching and sourcing platform should refocus their outreach efforts towards using media databases or searching manually for similar stories via search engines.

5. Lead times are longer

Unlike the quick turnarounds often seen in the UK, PR efforts in France typically require patience, with lead times stretching anywhere from 2 to 3 days, or even months in some cases.

This delay is influenced by various factors, including the meticulous attention to detail prevalent in French business culture and the emphasis on building relationships before transactions.

Considering this, prioritising evergreen campaigns is recommended to ensure your campaign topic is relevant not just in the present moment, but in the weeks and months to come.

Understanding and accounting for these longer lead times is essential for crafting effective PR campaigns tailored to the French market.


French PR best practices

From data-led studies to regional campaigns with a nod to individual cultures, below are some actionable tips for crafting high-quality PR campaigns that will resonate with French audiences and most importantly, land relevant French links.

1. Data-driven campaigns are important

French journalists value the use of robust statistics to add credibility to their stories and will most likely conduct thorough fact-checking procedures before publication.

If you choose to implement data-driven campaigns within your French Digital PR strategy, be sure to obtain the information from reputable sources and include detailed methodologies.

Additionally, incorporating quotes from relevant industry figures can add further legitimacy and interest to your client’s data-based campaign, increasing the likelihood of coverage.

2. Regional breakdowns matter

France has many regional differences which can spark creativity for crafting regionally focused PR campaigns. French culture often involves playful criticism among regions, ranging from culinary preferences to linguistic differences in describing everyday actions and objects.

A great example of a cultural debate that gets French people talking is the “Pain au Chocolat” versus “Chocolatine”2. This long-standing dispute over what to call a chocolate pastry sums up the differences in regional identity and linguistic diversity in France.

Whether it’s enjoying a “Pain au Chocolat” in the North or indulging in a “Chocolatine” in the South, this culinary debate continues to unite and divide communities across the country and could be the perfect idea for a PR campaign to settle the debate once and for all.

3. Having on-site content is key

Having on-site content is important when developing campaigns targeting the French market.

Providing journalists with easily accessible, comprehensive resources not only increases the likelihood of media coverage but also aligns with the meticulous attention to detail valued in French culture.

Furthermore, having well-crafted on-site content adds a layer of credibility and trust, both of which are essential elements in building relationships with French journalists and audiences.

By prioritising having on-site content tailored to French audiences, brands can establish themselves as trusted sources of information, fostering stronger connections and driving greater engagement in the French market.

4. Introducing and selling your story properly matters

Properly introducing and selling your story to journalists is crucial for PR success, especially in France, where building relationships and maintaining professionalism are highly valued.

When reaching out to journalists, it’s essential to personalise your communication by using formal language, such as “Vous” instead of “Tu”. Using “Bonjour [First Name]” is becoming increasingly common, mostly when contacting journalists in their 20s or 30s. For a more experienced journalist, use “Dear Mr/Ms. [Last Name]”.

Another key point is that journalists like to see interest in their work. When outreaching a similar story they may have covered in the past, make sure to compliment them on their work. It will provide a rationale for you emailing them.

5. Prioritise outreaching content in French

It’s recommended that, before you begin outreaching to French media, you accurately translate all infographics and landing pages into French. This will help ensure you maximise communication efforts and resonate with a broader French audience, enhancing the success of PR efforts in the region.


PR in the French media

We have developed and executed campaigns in France for some of our clients who have already witnessed promising results.

Here are a few standout examples of our PR campaigns from a range of different sectors featured in the French media:

SumUp’s best cities to open a business

Our global financial tech client, SumUp, landed links in the popular regional publication, Nice Presse, for their best cities to open a business campaign.

The study was based on a ranking of 14 criteria, including the number of bakeries and average customer reviews on Google Maps in January 2024.

The study was also picked up by other key regional publications, including ActuMarseille, which boasts a high domain ranking of 90.

The headline followed an English PR style, beginning with ‘According to this ranking, ‘Selon ce classement, Marseille est une ville en vogue pour les commerces indépendants’ which translates as ‘According to this ranking, Marseille is a popular city for independent businesses’.

According to Buzzsumo data from the past 6 months, French media outlets have published over 100 articles featuring the headline “Selon ce classement” (according to this ranking), indicating a clear preference among French journalists for study-based content.

By leveraging robust regional data and conducting a comprehensive analysis of business-friendly factors, SumUp strategically positioned themselves to secure follow links across France, effectively amplifying their campaign’s visibility and credibility to a wider European audience.

José Mourinho interview

It’s not just study-based campaigns that land in France; our financial trading platform client, XTB, collaborated with football manager, José Mourinho, to expand their partnership and achieved high-quality links in France.

By identifying shared traits between traders and football managers, such as emotional control and handling pressure, we crafted a PR strategy targeting audiences across France.

Through interviewing José Mourinho, tips-based content was hosted onsite and segmented into courses featuring José’s tips, translated and tailored for each target market.

In France, the campaign garnered attention from sports-focused publications like and national news site, leveraging the interview-style strategy to bridge the gap between sports and trading, thus securing links in relevant sports media outlets.

View the case study


Elevate your international PR results

And there you have it; by consistently following the insights and strategies outlined in this blog, you should be able to set yourself up for success in the French market and drive impactful results for your brand.

Of course, if you’d like more information on French digital PR and to see the amazing work the connective3 international team are currently doing, you can visit our c3 international page or get in touch directly!



  1. Social media in France: Link
  2. Pain au chocolat vs Chocolatine: Link
  3. CISION State of The Media 2023 (France): Link

Contact us today to start achieving unprecedented results.