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Earned Media Is More Essential than Ever in Today's Modern Communications Model, New Ogilvy Media Relations Study Finds

Agency’s PR Survey Found Traditional Media Sources Retain Greatest Credibility

Social media has quickly emerged as a powerful platform for journalists gathering news, but traditional media continues to reign supreme as the most trusted news source, according to a new Ogilvy PR survey of over 115 reporters, editors and producers. The study reveals that earned media is by far the most influential medium for influencing purchasing decisions and business outcomes.

“While social media revolutionized the way we communicate, we must not underestimate the power and credibility that traditional media relations provides,” said Jennifer Risi, managing director of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of media relations for Ogilvy North America, in a news release. “The results give a clear indication of the critical role that public relations—and earned media in particular—has to play within the integrated marketing model. With earned media serving as one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to build trust, organizations are increasingly using this channel to build brand equity, grow sales and drive market share.”

Some key findings from the survey include:

  • 44% of respondents believe that today’s campaigns require traditional, social and paid media.
  • Almost half of respondents (47%) view earned media as most influential medium for driving purchasing decisions and business outcomes.
  • Traditional media [newspapers/wires/magazines] are the most trusted source of news, followed by influencer-driven news. Company-driven news ranked as the least influential across the board.
  • Majority of journalists surveyed (65%) agree or strongly agree that the more the media covers a brand, the more credible the brand appears. That said, journalists also caution that too much coverage can be a sign of trouble.

When it comes to news consumption, respondents rely on social media (35%), traditional newspapers (33%), newswires (12%), broadcast (11%) and blogs (5%) to keep up with the headlines.

“Today, the power of earned media for the strategic communication of a brand’s key messages should not be underestimated—it often lends brands the third-party credibility and validation today’s savvy consumers seek out prior to making purchasing decisions,” added Risi.

The Ogilvy Public Relations Media Influence Group fielded a five question survey of 118 North American and U.K. based journalists—across print, broadcast and social media—covering a variety of topics including national news, business, consumer trends, technology, entertainment, politics, healthcare and the Hispanic community. The survey assessed sentiment and focused on opinions of reporters, editors and producers across a variety of top-tier media outlets. The survey was conducted by phone and email by Ogilvy PR team members based in New York, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston and London in June 2015.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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