Is PR Dropping the Ball? Majority of Reporters Say They Are Unhappy with Press Materials and Lack of Quality Content for Stories

Journalists Are Likely to Ignore a Pitch that Contains No Graphics

According to a recent survey, an overwhelming number of journalists and media professionals are unhappy with how they are approached by corporate communications, resulting in working longer hours and increased frustration. The survey, conducted by content distribution and tracking platform ISEBOX.com, revealed that journalists are having to work harder and produce more in order to make a living—but their needs are not being met by most PR professionals or technology solutions.

According to the newly released survey of North American journalists and media professionals, 68% of journalists feel that their job has become more difficult in the last 5 years—which is in stark contrast to the recent technology advancements that were intended to accelerate workflows. Of these new technologies, few have been developed to facilitate mass distribution of content in a way that is easily accessible and centralized for media professionals—resulting in scattered and often inaccessible story-related content.

In spite of these obstacles, survey results show that 52% of journalists are producing at least 5 articles per week, with almost 20% producing over 11 articles per week. Of the articles published, 75% include multimedia content. Of the more than 20 pitches the majority of journalists receive each week, most do not include multimedia content, resulting in journalists spending additional time to track it down themselves.

"There seems to be a major gap between what reporters need, and how corporate communications are providing these needs," said Salvatore Salpietro, CTO of ISEBOX.com, in a news release. "There is increasing pressure to gain earned media coverage by corporate communications and public relations teams, yet they are still making the process very difficult for media to access content and put together a story by using things like FTP, email, locked-down websites and manual requests—all of these are enthusiasm-killers."

Regarding delivery of multimedia content to journalists, the most popular method is still via email, in spite of commonplace restrictions on file size attachments, followed by Dropbox and actual physical mailing of digital media, such as USB keys and hard drives. When gathering and collecting content, 80% of reporters expressed frustration in needing to spend more than 30 minutes doing so. Nonetheless, 80% of journalists feel including photos, infographics or video is very important to creating effective and engaging content.

"If a pitch doesn’t contain graphics I can include with my article, it’s hard for me to take it on. Even better if there is a video. I am under strict deadlines to produce at least 5-7 articles a day, and visual content is always required. Wasting hours sourcing and editing a company’s logo or media content to accompany a post is something I literally cannot afford. When a pitch comes with everything attached, no cumbersome downloads, I want to hug that PR rep. And, I’m more likely to pick up on the next release from them, too," said Karen Fratti, freelance writer and frequent contributor for Mediabistro and Huffington Post.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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