Study: Journalists want PR pros to do more research and keep press releases

More than half of respondents said additional research by PR professionals into a particular publication or beat would help journalists do their job better.

WASHINGTON: Communicators need to do their homework on journalists’ publications and keep press releases around awhile longer, according to a new study.

The 2015 Business Wire Media Survey, which included about 400 members of the media, revealed that 57.2% of respondents said additional research by PR professionals into a particular publication or beat would help journalists do their job better.

Participants also said it would help if PR pros shared their stories on social channels (39.5%) and were more responsive in general (38.6%).

The rest of the results for that category, under the subhead "A request for communicators," panned out this way: provide more story-related assets (35.3%); be available to speak upon request (34.9%); provide company fact sheets (25.6%); other (20.5%); and write better stories (18.6%).

Meanwhile, 62.8% of respondents said their job would actually be more difficult in the absence of newswire-distributed press releases, compared to only 2.8% who said it would make work easier. More than a third of participants (34.4%) were indifferent, according to survey results.

Nearly one in four respondents (36.3%) said they "primarily provide content" for a website, according to survey, compared to 24.7% who write for a magazine and 17.7% who work for newspapers.

The majority of participants (52.1%) identified themselves as an editor or member of an editorial staff. Reporter and writer took the number two spot with 13.5%. Nearly half, or 45.1%, of survey takers said they’ve spent 21 years or more in the industry.

One section of the survey focused on "breaking news in the digital age," with 66.5% of respondents preferring to receive breaking news via email with a full press release, compared to 3.7% who want the news to come from a social media post.

Additionally, while nearly three out of four (74.9%) respondents use social media for work-related research, 74% prefer not to be pitched stories via social platforms.  

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