A recent PR Week/PRNewswire media survey didn’t reveal any startling trends, but definitely reinforced what’s fast become obvious – journalists are relying more and more on utilizing social media to research and craft stories.
The survey queried over a thousand journalists in the U.S. from all genres – blogs, online news sites, TV, radio, wire services, newspapers, and magazines. More than 1,300 PR practitioners were also polled and were asked how the changing media landscape is affecting them and the way they work with journalists.
Some interesting snippets/factoids:
37% of traditional journalists are being asked by their bosses to contribute to Twitter; 39% to a blog as part of their expected/expanded duties.
62% of PR professionals follow individual journalists and media outlets via social networks.
59% of traditional journalists also have a blog; 31% are also writing a blog for their traditional outlet, up 28% from 2009.
17% of PR pros responding to the survey are pitching to traditional media outlets with less frequency; 66% target bloggers more frequently; 45% go directly to consumers more often.
Two comments from editors for the survey were particularly noteworthy:
“It’s a digital age, and we’re looking for the fastest, most efficient way to reach out to other people in the industry,” said Eric Berger, science blogger for the Houston Chronicle. “These types of outlets provide that efficiency. Just a few seconds online can provide a list of contact information for someone you may be trying to reach, and it’s a time saver. That’s important in an environment where people feel like they have less time.”
Kate Corcoran, technology editor for Women’s Wear Daily, added that Twitter posts are morphing into news coverage – reporters post updates to complement more detailed stories to be published later.
“In covering parties or fashion events, our reporters will use Twitter to talk about what’s going on, and that may coincide with a story that might take a day to write,” Corcoran said. “There’s definitely more of a blurring between the professional and personal with social media than there was before.”