As part of our annual survey, we wanted to learn more about how journalists are using new media resources.
First, we wanted to know what devices they were using to research and receive information about stories. Not surprisingly, 98% told us they are using a computer. More interestingly, 36% are also using a smartphone, BlackBerry or iPhone and 18% are using an iPad or similar tablet. While everyone is still working at their desks, many are working on-the-go now as well, so journalist-friendly assets should be designed with that in mind.
Next, we asked about a variety of new media resources to learn what they’re using for research and story ideas. Search engines ranked highest with 86% of recipients claiming they use them. Digital releases received via email (like PWR’s NMRs) came in second with 74%. Social media sites also scored high (68%) and slightly over half of our recipients also use blogs (59%) and online news room (53%). Twenty-two percent told us they use video or podcasts, and a mere 16% said they subscribe to RSS feeds.
We wanted to further drill down on social media sites to find out which platforms were most relevant for the press so we asked our respondents which social media sites they use when working on a story. Facebook was the most popular with 86% of respondents claiming they use it for research, followed by Twitter with 54%. Google+ and LinkedIn both scored fairly high as well, with 35% and 36% respectively. Flickr was used by 25% of respondents and MySpace by 13%. Finally, 24% told us they do use social media bookmarks to share and archive information (so they’re a great addition to any release).
And finally, as in the past, we asked journalists to simply share their thoughts on new media and how it has changed the way they work. Many journalists note that new media resources have made their jobs easier, simplifying research and making the process more efficient and relative to their audiences:
- It changes the entire landscape. And, makes it much harder to claim "I can't find enough information quickly."
- Detailed information is always a pleasure to receive, eliminating the need for secondary sources... right from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
- New media sometimes offers a quick, easy way to get important details in an accessible form without having to call/e-mail/solicit this information if it's missing, as it often is, from the press release.
Some of our respondents also pointed out the heightened speed at which business currently moves, the many new markets the web opens up, as well as, increased interaction with their audience as benefits:
- Made it more immediate...news is online seconds after we get it. Have to be more aware of different places to put news, i.e., website, Twitter, Facebook.
- I am able to get my work to various markets and areas.
On the other hand, some journalists dislike (or simply don’t trust) new media resources, or find them distracting:
- Outside of search engines, which take me directly to company information or to a source's website, I rarely rely on social media for information. It's just too much noise to filter through.
- It's made some of my reporters lazy in terms of hard-to-find research and working the phones
And a few point out that, like many things in life, new media comes with pros and cons:
- Many pros, many cons. More information, more of an information glut. More soures, less quality. The media is more democratic; there's a lot of useless stupid voices out there.
To read all unedited responses click here. And click here to download a PDF of charts from the survey. You can also learn more about what journalists told us regarding news release preferences here.