Quartz: Want to reach executives with news? Use email

Despite the proliferation of social media, most executives are loyal readers of emailed news.

Image taken from Quartz
Image taken from Quartz

NEW YORK: Despite rapid changes in media technology, many executives turn to a relatively tried and tested place each day to get news and information: their inboxes.

Executives are twice as likely to get their news from email than video, according to a study from Quartz, which found 90% are subscribed to an email newsletter.

Newsletters have a "specific value exchange," explained Mia Mabanta, director of product marketing at Quartz.

"You’re going to extract pretty much the same amount of value out of that each day because of the consistency of the experience," Mabanta said. "Contrast that to, say, someone happening to come across your story on Twitter or Facebook. If you cultivate a relationship via email, you’re much more likely to maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio."

The study found that 60% of global executives use social media to get news, which is a significantly lower rate than the average consumer. Twitter was the most popular news-gathering platform for execs, followed by Facebook. LinkedIn came in last.

Executives are also open to branded content, with 84% giving it their OK as long as the content is high-quality and clearly labeled, according to the study.

"They recognize brands have a certain expertise in what they do," Mabanta said. "Their fellow executives recognize that expertise and see value in it."

Almost 60% of respondents said mobile is their primary news device, and 40% said the last ad they remembered seeing was on a mobile device.

"As the speed of content has increased and the various technology platforms have multiplied, each individual has developed their own preference for how they get their information," Mabanta said. "It’s become increasingly important for anyone trying to reach those users, whether it’s PR people, or publishers, or brands, to account for those changes as much as possible."

The study was first commissioned in 2014 to understand how business executives consume content in a rapidly changing media landscape and how those habits differ from the population at large. Quartz surveyed 1,357 executives this year for the report.

"Whether you’re trying to capture someone to send a PR pitch, or get them to read a story on your website, or your newsletter, you have to start with a fundamental understanding of how that person will best respond to what you’re putting out there," said Mabanta.

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