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The Strategy Room

Journalist Attitudes Toward Social Media in 2017

By: Emily Wenstrom

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Social media has changed how we engage the world—and that includes how we report and digest the news. For public relations pros, this also impacts how we engage reporters.

Cision,  a leading global provider of earned media software and services, has released its sixth annual Global Social Journalism Study. The report is extensive, offering perspective from 257 journalists about their social media habits, preferences and views.

Here are a few of the report’s most interesting findings:

1. 42 percent of respondents use five or more types of social media regularly

That’s a lot of channels, right? This means two things. First, reporters are listening and engaged. But it also means attention is fractured and segmented—so attention is a hard-earned commodity.

2. Most reporters are “Observers” of social media

Cision identified six archetypes of social media users. The most common among reporters is the “Observer,” who is less active on social media, and more skeptical about them. Look out for this when scoping out a new reporter to pitch online—if they don’t seem engaged, it’s not the best place to try to connect with them.

3. Journalists are ambivalent about their relationship with PR professionals

While some reporters cited positive relationships with our industry, reporters also have concerns over the quality of content and reliability of material they receive. PR pros, want to stand out from the slush pile? Smash these negative industry stereotypes with responsiveness, accuracy and transparency.

These are only a few of the insights gleaned from the study. But ultimately, journalists, like many of us, are conflicted about how social media shapes modern communication:

“Journalists’ views about the impact of social media on their profession have been mixed, similarly to their views about the impact on their work and daily practices.”

Get the full report here.




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