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Strained media relations: why some journalists feel duped by PR professionals

by | Jun 9, 2015 | Public Relations, Social Media

Report Uncovers Missed Opportunities to Earn Digital Video Coverage 

The relationship between public relations professionals and media is on life support, according to a new report of digital journalists. According to The Media Influencers Report, a study from digital video communications firm D S Simon Productions, many digital journalists said they have been misled by PR pros, with nearly a quarter of them saying that it happens often.

The report also points to communicators doing a poor job of providing proper disclosure in video content they distribute as another barrier to trust. Fewer than half of the digital media respondents felt they often or always received content with the proper disclosure. This lack of disclosure can clearly do damage to the PR-media relationship and to brands. Millions of dollars can be on the line and the reputations of brands can hang in the balance.

“For the first time, we have specific evidence that this failure to disclose is limiting the willingness of the media to even consider using their content,” said Douglas Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon.

Other key findings of the report:

  • 76% of producers and journalists affiliated with the digital outlets of television and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, media sites and bloggers reported using outside produced video.
  • 84% of digital journalists use social networking sites to find leads on the brands you cover
  • Facebook (69%), Twitter (59%) and LinkedIn (33%) were the most common networks cited for reporters getting stories from social media.
  • 54% of media said they would accept a pitch through a social networking site—an eye opener for many PR and marketing pros

On the positive side, the report reveals a great PR opportunity—76% of producers and journalists affiliated with the digital outlets of TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, media sites and bloggers reported using outside produced video. “Significantly, 74% of them will post or link to the entire video,” said Simon. “This provides an unequaled opportunity for direct communication of the entire PR or marketing message to consumers.”

So why aren’t communicators taking full advantage? In addition to the trust issue, lack of focused effort to earn media in the digital space remains a key obstacle. Many of the campaigns that communicators are showcasing have an overwhelming reliance on brand integration with a minimal earned digital component, according to the study.

“While paid has a role, it can’t be at the expense of an earned digital effort,” said Simon. “With creative content, the necessary understanding of disclosure rules and a strong media relations effort, we’re seeing great opportunity to create and earn media with digital content.”

Source: D S Simon Productions; edited by Richard Carufel

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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