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    February 2013
2013 Journalist Survey –
Traditional Media, New Media,
Social Media
In this year’s survey of over 220 journalists, we asked loads of questions about News Release preferences. You can check out last month's issue of Powerlines to get the scoop, but in a nutshell: Journalists want releases via email, loaded with transferable assets such as images, video and fact sheets (but no attachments!).

But this year, we also learned a bit about how journalists are using new and social media and wanted to dedicate this issue of Powerlines to sharing what we learned about that.

With 80% of our respondents now publishing online (many in addition to traditional outlets), they’ve become increasingly fond of the digital world.  Indeed, they’re not only using their laptops to research stories but also smart phones (36%) and tablets (24%).
Project Spotlight
spotlight McCormick scored a touchdown with this Social Media News Release we created for its PR Firm, Weber Shandwick. They sent mainstream reporters a traditional NMR but this more social-friendly version, with a transferable slideshow, was sent to bloggers. The open report indicated they scored big!

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What device do you use when researching or receiving
information to include in a story?

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Journalists are also relying on social media sites to write stories. Facebook (84%) and Twitter (59%) are still the most popular social media sites cited by our respondents, but LinkedIn (48%), Google+ (36%), Pinterest (27%) and several other platforms are also used.

Which social media components or sites have you used when working on a story? (Select all that apply)


arrow  View larger chart


Journalists are also using online sources to research stories. As in the past, the top two sources are search engines (84%) and digital release received via email (79%). Social media (63%) and blogs (64%) are also popular as are online newsrooms (53%).

Which New Media resources do you currently use when researching a story or article? (Select all that apply)

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Content Tip Tell Them What You Want
Don’t forget a strong call to action. If you want your audience to take a specific action, tell them what it is clearly and honestly.
Design Tip Make It Count
Remember that the upper left quadrant is "above-the-fold" in email. It’s a great spot for key info but be sure it’s visible to recipients with images blocked.
Delivery Tip Not Too Early...Not too Late!
Send emails when people are most likely to be at their desks. Late mornings, mid-week test well for our clients in general.
Need Help?
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we’re happy to chat about your digital strategies.
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What They SaidAs always, we asked journalists to tell us in their own words how the shift to digital has changed the way research and publishing happens.  You can check out all their unedited responses here.

But to give you the flavor, many mentioned the speed and increased ease at which research happens, the many new forms of outlets available for their work, the variety of assets they can add to stories, and improvements in how they receive information. Here are a few responses…

It's the only way I can do my job with more work responsibilities and fewer support staff around me in a shrinking newsroom. It enables me to give my readers images and video to help tell the story.

It makes information more accessible more quickly. It also allows me to flesh out the story around a press release (i.e. fill in blanks, bridge gaps)

Changed the face of it entirely. The immediacy of dissemination, the ability to find sources/background/new developments online ... you name it, it's there.

Insanity. I prefer to get as much info in one place such as an email with attached release and a couple of hi-res images on the spot. Also very important - a link to online press room. If I need more I contact rep. Hate going to 10 different places.

Others said it hasn’t had much impact at all, or, that the impact has been minor or, for some, negative:

It has added to expectations but has not helped me earn more money or accomplish more. I absolutely hate it and feel like it's expected but is the equivalent of yelling into a canyon. Someone might hear the echo, but is it from a reliable source? And, honestly, I do not have time to "like" or "follow" thousands of businesses. If someone asks me "Didn't you see my Tweet?" it's clear they have no understanding of the quantity of work expected of a freelancer.

While some respondents pointed to both the pros and cons:

I came from print and the transition to new media was both challenging and exciting. Our world is on "instant" so the luxury of being able to network with others to learn more about topics/issues makes it easier to locate sources and other forms of data.

It has made it quicker and easier to get information, but at the same time there's more information than is possible to absorb.

Makes it easier, in general. But the tremendous load of information also can be difficult to sift through when looking for something specific. I find the information unreliable but it does give some insight into individuals via Facebook

arrow   Read More Quotes from 2013 Journalist Survey

arrow   View PWR's 2013 Journalist Survey, Part 1


Working with so many PR professionals, the PWR team believes it is essential to keep informed on what journalists want from releases and how the digital shift is changing how the media works so we can help our clients best meet the needs of the press. We hope this info is informative and look forward to sharing more tips from the media in issues of Powerlines to come!