PR pros have certainly embraced social media as a tool for communicating directly with clients’ (and their own) audiences over the years, and social has slowly but surely become a reliable way for PR to perform media outreach and even pitch stories to journalists. If anything, those elusive media scribes have been slow to accept social media as a bona fide PR conduit (and for good reason—lots of social babble is clearly unfounded and, from a reporter’s perspective, often a string of un-credible dead ends), but new research shows that many journalists are not only socially active, but downright dependent on Twitter and its brethren to get their jobs done.
Findings from a newly released media intelligence report underscore journalists’ increased usage of social media, and show a noticeable maturation in their reliance on them medium. The international report analyzes how journalists across six countries—United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Australia—use social media to improve productivity and better communicate with PR professionals.
Key findings from the survey include:
- More than half (51 percent) of journalists report they would be unable to do their job without social media
- Fifty-seven percent of journalists agree that social media has improved their productivity
- Sixty-seven percent of journalists are spending up to two hours a day on social media, up from 38 percent in 2012
- Twitter and Facebook are the most widely used social platforms among journalists, but their levels of popularity vary among the countries surveyed
- U.S. and U.K. journalists rely on social media for publishing and promoting their own content, while the other countries cite sourcing as their top reason for usage
- The majority of journalists, including 58 percent of U.S. journalists, express data security and privacy concerns as a result of increased social media use
- Journalists in English-speaking countries are more interactive and create more social media content than those in non-English speaking countries
“This data confirms the mission-critical nature of social media and its ever-growing popularity for journalism,” said Valerie Lopez, vice president of media research at Cision, a co-partner of the study with Canterbury Christ Church University, according to a news release. “Whether it’s used to improve research, streamline communication with potential sources, or further develop story ideas, social media has clearly become integral to journalists’ daily work and responsibilities.”
The study also examined the evolving relationship between PR practitioners and journalists, showing a favorable change in communication practices. PR professionals are increasingly communicating with journalists through social media, with 23 percent pitching stories on social platforms, a 28 percent year-over-year increase. This shift matches the changing preferences of reporters. Other key findings include:
- U.S. journalists list PR contacts as their second most important source for information, the first being expert sources
- The majority of reporters, including 58 percent of U.S. journalists, are happy with their relationships with PR practitioners
- U.S. journalists’ top three methods of contact include email (84 percent), social media (33 percent) and telephone (15 percent)
This study was based on more than 3,000 responses from journalists and media professionals. Throughout the survey, the term “journalist” is used to include all media professionals (e.g. reporters, researchers, editors, etc.) who took part.
Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel