Earlier today, Cision and Don Bates of The George Washington University’s Master’s Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations released results of a national survey on how journalists rely on and use both social media and public relations resources for story research. While the headline, which reads “Majority of Journalists Now Depend on Social Media for Story Research” may have “social media experts” jumping to all sorts of conclusions and claims, reading further offers more validation that hiring a social-media savvy PR firm (or internal manager) is the best bet for your business.
Why? The study says that journalists “still turn to public relations professionals for assistance in their primary research” and that “most journalists turn to public relations professionals for assistance in their primary research.”
The bottom line is that PR experts who understand effective messaging and savvy story telling to the right audience will continue to be important - but more effective if they know how to reach key audiences where they already are - “fishing where the fish are,” as Coca Cola recently stated (slide 6). And for now, it looks like at least one of those audiences - source-seeking reporters - are on social media networks and using them strategically.
That leaves one question for you: Is your PR firm?
You can read the full news release and download the study’s results, here.