We are every day taught that journalists hate press releases, that they don’t like to be pitched and so on. But Oriella PR Network has other opinions about these issues. The company conducted a survey of over 750 journalists in 15 countries in May and June 2010, to see how digital media has changed the nature of news-gathering, we learned from PRNewser.
The study, titled Digital Journalism Study, Blogs, Apps and Paywalls – How the Digital World is Changing the Way reveals that over 74% of the participants prefer to be sent traditional press releases via email; over 50% want to receive images and other visuals; and only a bit over 15% like social news releases.
“While the communications landscape has become increasingly complex, journalists continue to rely on PR professionals to address the basics of news gathering in the content they produce. Communicators that overlook this essential need do so at their peril.” – states the report.
Note however, that the number of journalists who participated in the survey is relatively low, and that cultural differences had an important impact in their answers. For example, countries like Germany, Sweden, etc, are less active online than the USA. Journalists in these countries are more likely to prefer traditional press releases, because the way they work is still very traditionalist. Even so, the numbers are interesting, and relevant for PRs who target international campaigns.
The study is important from other perspectives though: the authors invested a lot of time and energy in finding out how digital media has changed the nature of news-gathering. Many journalists count on mobile apps to gather news, and many are considering premium services to generate revenue as you will note below:
Other findings reveal that nearly half of the journalists (46%) are expected to produce more content and nearly one in three (30%) feels they are working longer hours. A third feel exclusives have become more important and 28% admit they have less time to research stories in person. Interestingly, only 18% of the interviewees declared that the pressure worsened the quality of the publications they work for.
The study concluded with the implications for PR professionals, as follows:
- Despite the growth of new media, the demand for more ‘traditional’ news content remains strong. Releases and photography continue to be key content assets for journalists
- The additional information supplied via UGC and in Social Media News Releases needs to be as relevant as the main release.
- Time pressures remain – it is down to the PR community to facilitate access to relevant stories so they can turn it into a compelling story as efficiently as possible
- Paid content means the quality of journalism will have to improve further to justify charging. This requires a degree of selectivity from PROs when considering which stories to send to journalists
- Content is going to increase, thanks to the enduring presence of print, the continued growth of online and the emergence of smartphones