Seven out of ten journalists think that information sent by public
relations practitioners is useful, as long as it is well researched and
In a survey published this month, German PR agency Kohtes und Klewes
quizzed 100 reporters from 15 countries across Europe on their attitudes
towards PR companies as a source of information.
Fifty per cent of respondents said they used information distributed by
PR agencies, although the importance to journalists of agency-generated
material varied considerably from country to country.
In France and Germany, for example, only one third of journalists said
they used PR services, while that proportion fell to 20 per cent in
Russia, Slovakia and Denmark. UK journalists, on the other hand, proved
most willing to use agencies as a source of news and feature material.
Twenty-three per cent of those questioned judged PR firms to be a cost-
efficient method of obtaining information. Lack of time to conduct their
own research and dwindling financial resources for freelance
commissioning were cited as the main reasons for accepting press
But the survey did sound a note of caution on the way information is
delivered. It found that reporters dislike receiving irrelevant and
inaccurate press releases and object to persistent and unwanted calls
from what they term ‘press release salespeople’.