It’s the middle of the year, and it seemed a good time to take another look at the Vocus State of the Media Report 2014.
Some things really struck me, notably the not-so-encouraging statement that “PR practitioners may find it harder to place stories” because of social media. For years we’ve competed with breaking news and other popular stories. Now we have to compete for the attention of journalists “who have a worldwide web of blogs, social media and alternative news sources at their fingertips.”
All this means that PR professionals should not “expect more than 10 seconds” of a journalist’s time.
I agree that the competition has never been greater. But the basics remain. “It’s more important than ever to connect with reporters on social, comment on their stories, offer information that is relevant to their beat and build relationships.”
Findings about Social Media
The level of engagement that social media makes possible has changed the reporting dynamic. In the past reporters didn’t know what their readers were thinking unless they got a letter or phone call. “Now readers and reporters alike know what the other is thinking almost immediately.”
That said, I found some of the specific comments about social media interesting.
- Journalists find social media highly relevant when reporting, with 50 percent saying they use it very frequently and 26.7 percent saying they use it frequently.
- Reporters use social media to find new sources. Almost half the respondents found social media “very useful” or “extremely useful” for research.
- Almost half the respondents (48.5 percent) said they primarily use social media to connect with their audiences.
- However, an overwhelming 90.7 percent of the journalists chose email as their preferred method of contact.
- Close to half (45.3 percent) preferred not to be pitched by social media. The most frequent way respondents received social media pitches was through Facebook and Twitter (77 and 73 percent respectively).