Survey says … PR firms (still) the No. 1 source for journalists

A new poll suggests that journalists are increasingly relying on social media for their sources, but it’s still not as influential as PR.

Oriella PR Network polled nearly 500 journalists, and learned that 47 percent are using Twitter (up from 33 percent a year ago) and 35 percent are using Facebook as a source (up from 25 percent a year ago).

Still, social media isn’t the first thing they’re going to—only 4 percent said they use Twitter, Facebook, or blogs as their first source in researching a story.

The No. 1 resource that journalists in this study are using for sourcing was PR agencies, with a whopping 62 percent.

As for the first port of call when researching a news or feature story? PR again! Nearly 22 percent of respondents say their initial stop is a press release.

Oriella PR Network, an alliance of 15 communications agencies in 20 countries, has published its annual study on digital journalism since 2008.

One striking stat in the article suggests that journalists are working harder:

Almost half (45 percent) admitted they have to produce more content and a third (34 percent) work longer hours. However, despite this added pressure, 44 percent of the respondents said they enjoyed their job more, compared with 34 percent in 2010 and just 27 percent in 2009.

So, keep those press releases coming—apparently they’re still working on many of my colleagues. And don’t be surprised when the number of journalists going to social media first increases to the 70 percent range by this time next year.

 

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