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?

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