Check out PWR’s recent survey of journalists...
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    February 2015
PWR’s 2015 Journalist Survey
Research and Social Edition
In addition to learning about news release preferences in our recent survey of over 200 journalists, we also wanted to learn about their online practices. As news creation and consumption has shifted online, journalists research habits are changing and we wanted to learn how.

To start, we asked them how they research story ideas. Not surprisingly, we found that research happens online. Search tops the list with 83% of our respondents confirming they use search engines when researching a story or article. But given their preference for email, it’s also not surprising that their own inbox is also a valuable resource with 70% reporting they use emailed releases for research. Social Media (57%) Blogs (52%) and online newsrooms (50%) were also cited as useful.
Project Spotlight
spotlight PWR designed this program guide for Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital to promote their Professional Center of Education. Loaded with useful info, appealing graphics, and clear calls to action, we think its a great example of our print capabilities.

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Research Tools Used by Journalists

research tools

But in today’s digital world, online means mobile. And indeed, journalists are researching story ideas on screens of all sizes, although traditional computers still outrank small screens: 99% said they used a desktop of laptop while 37% said they also work on smartphones and 26% said they use tablets as well.

Devices Used In Research
screen sizes used

We wanted to dig a little deeper into their social media usage. In last month’s Powerlines, we shared some details on what social media elements they want in releases, but this month we wanted to highlight social sites used for research. 85% percent of our respondents told us they had used Facebook for research. Twitter came in second, with 67%, followed by LinkedIn (45%, Google+ (39%) and Instagram (26%).

Social Media Usage

social media usage

Finally, we asked journalists to tell us, in their own words, how the shift to digital has changed how they get story ideas, conduct research, and produce stories. You can view a full list of all unedited responses here, but to give you the flavor, we’ve selected a handful to share below.

Spotting PWR Check out our Managing Partner's guest blog posts: Malayna Evans Williams contributed to the PRSA blog, ComPRehensions, to discuss journalists and news releases and to Axelson Center for Nonprofit's blog to discuss branding consistency.  
Survey Says Healthcare Journalists Say...

healthcare infographic

We wanted to zoom in on what journalists covering the healthcare beat think about media relations practices so we surveyed them and created this nifty infographic to share what we learned.
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  what they said
What They Said
It makes it easier to get all the information and share with our viewers and other journalists.

It means we're expected to get the images and details that our editors want faster than ever, so the people we are reporting to have no patience for a PR/media site that cannot get us images or information within a few minutes to an hour. It also means that, as a reporter, I'm doing a lot more of the work myself - not just reporting a story, but also pulling in all the art myself, and posting the story to the web myself, which is why I love a one-stop-shop (whether it be an email press kit or media site) where I can find images, bios, dates and other information in one place, fast and easy.
  I ignore anything sent to me via snail mail, and I'm more likely to do a story when I have art

It's been a blessing and a curse. It's easier to get information, but the quality of the information has declined drastically.

In many ways it's easier because it's fast, but it's harder now to determine what's the "good" stuff and what's fluff.

It's easier to obtain background information and check factoids, spellings, etc. Digital also allows us to spot emerging trends sooner.

Digital has sped up the process some, but it also complicates verification of story material.

It's certainly made it easier to get plenty of information on a given subject, although little of it can be reputable, depending. But, the immediacy of info capture is essential today.

It's so much more accessible. We can know what's happening as it's happening. Everyone in the community can contribute to the newspaper now.

Going digital has enabled me to find information so much easier and that, in turn, allows me to get the article out much quicker as well.

Given the nature of our site we do not have to search for a lot of stories, we write about our family and receive many story pitches directly in our inbox.

I no longer accept faxes and am less likely to use information that is snail mailed rather than sent digitally.

I've always used the Internet as a research tool, but I no longer receive hard copies of media kits and press releases, which is great. It's much easier to deal with electronic information. Deadlines are much shorter with online publications, obviously, which offers opportunities to post timely stories before the topics get stale.

My favorite part is that people are more willing to supply photos and do it. That saves a lot of time, since our photography staff has been cut.

A Godsend, of course!! I can be so much more creative in less time

Images, images, images! People are visual and they need to see it, have access to video too.

arrow   Read More Quotes from PWR’s 2015 Journalist Survey

Working with PR professionals every day, we understand how important understanding the needs of media is to our clients and are happy to share insights. Get in touch if you have questions you would like to see included in future surveys. We're always listening!