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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 27, 2011

PR professionals under-utilizing social media, say journalists

More journalists are using social media more of the time, according to the results of a UK-based survey from Daryl Willcox Publishing. The bad news is that PR professionals aren't.

by Helen Leggatt

daryl-willcox-logo.jpgMore than three-quarters of journalists rate social media as an important tool and are increasing their use of it. Almost all (90%) of 900 UK journalists surveyed by Daryl Willcox Publishing are using social media more now than they were a year ago.

However, the other side of the equation - the PR professionals - hasn't been so quick to embrace social media tactics and journalists have noticed. Almost half (45%) believe PR professional don't use the platform enough citing a lack of understanding of the need to build genuine relationships on social media coupled with a lack of resources to respond quickly to journalists' requests and queries.

Despite a plethora of new channels the vast majority of news dissemination by PR professionals continues to be done via email (98%), say journalists. In fact, traditional pitches (71%), phone contact (53%), and even face-to-face events (51%) were all used far more by PR professionals than social media, of which Twitter rated highest with 29%.

The PR community needs to respond to the changing work practices of journalists.

"By joining journalists as active participants in their clients' industries' online communities, PR professionals can forge stronger relationships with influential members of those networks," says Martin Stabe, Financial Times interactive producer Martin Stabe, and author of the whitepaper "How social media is changing the role of journalists".

Tags: online journalism, online news, online PR, press, research, social media

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  • I find it interesting that more PR professionals aren't more active in social media. I know this is a UK-based survey, but I would like to see if the same holds true in the US. The death of Osama bin Laden broke on Twitter, so it's hard to deny that social media is a powerful news force. If that's where the readers and journalists are, then PR needs to get on board.



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