Online Newsrooms, Press Releases Critical Resources for Journalists, According to 2014 Media Survey: Journalists Reveal Their Preferred Sources, Content Types and Newsroom Features

The recently released 2014 Business Wire Media Survey shows nearly 90% of responding journalists used a press release within the last week and that almost 80% turn to a company’s online newsroom when researching an organization. These and other findings were collected from more than 300 North American journalists belonging to a wide range of news organizations. The online survey was conducted by Business Wire between March and May.

The survey shows that journalists have specific content needs, turn to trusted sources for corporate news and use specific metrics to evaluate their stories, all providing public relations professionals with a roadmap to more effectively developing, distributing and sharing content.

More than 50% of journalists said the number of page views was a chief measurement metric for their own stories, with 42% saying social media activity and 24% counting the number of comments.

Showing the enduring value of press releases, 89% of journalists surveyed used a press release within the last week. Nearly 75% of surveyed journalists preferred graphics or infographics to be added to press releases and more than 70% also wanted photographs.

“The 2014 Business Wire media survey was designed to better understand how journalists cover companies and organizations in today’s digital and social world. With knowledge acquired from the survey results, professional communicators can identify the latest preferred content sources and online newsroom needs, and then act to produce and provide content that will enhance their media relations programs,” said Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s vice president of web communications services, in a news release.

Reporters turn to newswires regularly, with more than 70% identifying Business Wire and 66% identifying PR Newswire. No other service was cited by more than 25% of journalists. Conversely, reporters overwhelmingly don’t want to be pitched on social media, with negative responses to pitches hitting 90% for Facebook, 88% for Google+, 83% for Twitter and 75% for LinkedIn.

Online Newsrooms

While many research tools are available to today’s journalists, according to these survey results, more than 90% of reporters use an organization’s main or corporate website as their top source, with nearly 80% using the organization’s online newsroom ahead of social media networks, blogs, trade publications and other sources.

Because the online newsroom is a top journalist destination, a series of questions regarding online newsroom content, access, complexity and functionality were presented in the survey.

While press releases are the preferred content type by nearly 90% of reporters surveyed, fewer than one in 10 want press releases to appear in only PDF format, with more than half preferring the HTML/text format option.

Reporters want access to archival content in online newsrooms, with the majority wanting the ability to search at least one to five years of historical press releases. They also want brand-published content, with more than 60% of surveyed journalists receptive to brand-published content within the online newsroom.

Download the complete survey results here.

Edited by Richard Carufel

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