Fear not, PR pros—journalists say they still need PR in order to produce great content. However, they want PR pros to do a better job when it comes to relevance and targeting, affirms new media research from Orange County-based high-tech PR firm Global Results Communications (GRC).
The firm recently published the findings of its 2021 PR Media Report, in which 1,026 members of the U.S. media took the time to answer questions covering a wide range of topics, including what they value most from public relations professionals.
“PR professionals and journalists rely on one another to ensure the quality of information being reported is up to par. Therefore, it’s critical we have a keen understanding of the needs that today’s journalists have and how PR professionals can support those needs,” said Valerie Christopherson, GRC founder and CEO, in a news release. “This report is meant to give PR professionals insights as to the changing demands and how we can do better to serve journalists and ultimately both of our audiences.”
“While on the surface it seems not much has changed given that 82 percent of the respondents have not altered their opinion of PR professionals over the years, deeper down a subtle but significant shift could be taking place,” Christopherson added. “Just the number of survey responses alone tells us that the media is looking to work more cohesively with PR professionals to garner better quality control in an era where content is being questioned more now than ever before.”
Today, with the battle for reader attention, quality of news less appreciated and increased competition from bloggers, podcasters and citizen journalists among the biggest challenges facing journalists, it’s not surprising that 80 percent of the respondents say they still rely on public relations professionals for content. However, they do need to see improvement in the quality of information, as the survey indicates that too often journalists receive inaccurate or irrelevant information from PR pros.
“The results of the survey tell us that most journalists view their relationship with PR practitioners as an important one,” said Christopherson. “And overwhelmingly, members of the media want relevance and mutual respect, appreciating PR professionals that have a clear understanding of what they want and need. But are we delivering? As the landscape of news dramatically changes, there’s no doubt, it is time for PR to change, too. Bottom line: We must do better.”
The report includes key takeaways and insights on how PR professionals can improve their relationships with the media, as well as the quality of content they provide.
The survey was conducted between March 2021 and May 2021. Of the 1,026 respondents, 43% hold decision-making roles as editors, with 54% possessing more than 20 years of experience, which indicates they were in the business when huge changes and media mergers took place.