Journalists see strong link between earned and social media, survey says

Journalists believe that social media plays a vital role in driving the effect and success of traditional news stories, according to a survey by Ogilvy Public Relations.

NEW YORK: Journalists believe that social media plays a vital role in driving the effect and success of traditional news stories, according to a survey by Ogilvy Public Relations.

The eight-question survey, conducted through May and June, was given to 77 US-based journalists of varying disciplines, including print, broadcast, and social media. By the numbers, 53% indicated a "strong connection" between earned and social media, while 44% said there was "some" connection.

More than 90% of respondents believe the impact of a story is connected to the amount of reaction it receives on social platforms, according to the survey.

"What we found is what we thought we were going to find: the link between earned and social media is here to stay," said Jennifer Risi, MD of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations at Ogilvy PR.

When it came to who the journalists view as dominating the news cycle, 27% said celebrities are "the most influential news drivers," while 26% said their own colleagues, or other reporters. Political figures came in third with 21%, and business leaders followed with 13%.

Risi said the most forward-looking brands are creating campaigns that link earned and social media. Influential players still want to be viable in earned media since both spaces are equally important when navigating how to maximize impact in the current media world, she added.

"I wanted to show earned media is not dead," said Risi. While social media can serve as a way to amplify a story, she said, many stories still originate in traditional media outlets.

Even when it comes to reporters, she said, a large number "want to have a voice and a platform that reach people, and it’s not only one platform that’s going to have the most powerful voice."

Ogilvy PR serves "as a bridge" between "what a reporter wants to write about and what a client wants to talk about," explained Risi.

She said that reporters want access, as well as to break through the clutter of the "information overload" to find the story they’ll want to write about, which is where PR pros come in.

Going forward, Risi said she wants to take a "temperature check" annually to make sure the firm is staying current with evolving media trends. She added that she’d like to have the save respondent pool back again to get a sense of their thinking over time.

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