May 23, 2011 Leave a comment
An article on Ragan’s PR Daily calls out some interesting new stats about where journalists are getting their stories. The Oriella PR Network reports that more journalists are using Twitter and Facebook as a source for their news (double digit increases over last year). BUT, the number one source for stories remains traditional PR agencies.
For those who don’t know the distinction… sources for NEWS are where you get your ideas for a story. Sources for stories are the people that you quote in your coverage … the material you are working off of. In other words, Journalists are relying more on social networking for their IDEAS but still rely on traditional methods for verification and explanation.
Now, there is so much “meat” in the numbers provided her that you can analyze this data six ways from Sunday but there are a few key takeaways that I see.
1. Social Networking is fast becoming the key source for BREAKING news. More and more journalists are monitoring these sites for story ideas and narration of real-time activity.
2. When it comes to a story idea the Journalist has on their own, they still want to turn to a human being who can provide depth and context to a story. (try doing a Q and A through DM’s on Twitter … trickier and far more time consuming than simply grabbing the Media Relations rep for five minutes by phone).
3. Just over 22% (that’s 1 out of 5) news stories start with a press release. That means 4 out of 5 times, Journalists are getting their story ideas some other way.
While some may point to the rise in use of Social Media as a harbinger that traditional Media Relations is an industry at risk, I see it solely as a sign that Media Relations, like every industry, must remain adaptive. These new channels can be incredible tools for communicating a client’s message and journalists will ALWAYS want someone that they can speak with directly for deeper information on any topic.