Story Sources Survey Says . . .

If you have questions like these on your mind. . . .
Where do journalists research stories?
How believable is social media?
When do PR professionals factor in?

Cision's 2009 Social Media & Online Usage Study with George Washington University
offers some valuable insights.

Heidi Sullivan, Vice President of Research for Cision, says "Mainstream media have hit a tipping point in their reliance on social media for their research and reporting...however... it is not replacing editors' and reporters' reliance on primary sources, fact-checking and other traditional best practices in journalism."

Here are a few highlights from the 24 page report.

Where Journalists Research Stories
89% blogs
65% social media sites
52% microblogging sites like Twitter
61% Wikipedia

Real Life Applications
PR Professionals - How can you make the most of the social mediasphere?
Businesses - Start with a blog and then extend your reach to sites that reach journalists and customers.

How Journalists View Social Media Sources
A great majority, 84%, said social media sources are "slightly less" or "much less" reliable than traditional media. Almost half, 49%, said social media suffers from "lack of fact checking, verification and reporting standards."

Real Life Applications
PR professionals - Be reliable right up front by fact-checking before distributing anything
Businesses - Issue reports and become known as a qualified information resource

Journalists Rely on Public Relations Professionals for Research Assistance
Almost half, 44%, depend on PR pros for "interviews and access to sources and experts,"
with 23% of editors and reporters looking to PR pros for "answers to questions and targeted information"
and 17% turn to PR for "perspective, information in context, and background information."

Real Life Applications
PR Professionals - Position your firm as the go-to resource for reporters in your niche
Businesses - Choose a PR firm that represents experts like you

What do you think? How will these results change the way you're telling your stories?

About Barbara Rozgonyi

Barbara Rozgonyi publishes and directs CoryWest Media, an integrated social media marketing and PR firm. As Social Media Club (SMC) Chicago’s founder, Barbara is a recognized spokesperson for brands, bloggers and the social media marketing PR industry. Barbara invites you to join the Wired PR Works community on Facebook or to contact her regarding interviews, partner promotions or speaking engagements at 630.207.7530.