A recent survey by Benchmark Research (see
study) of PR managers and journalists asked the
How important are online communication channels?
What are the needs of journalists online?
Are PR organizations fulfilling these needs?
Is the PR industry using or misusing online
If best use of online is not being made, why?
overwhelming number of journalists consider online being
the most important aspect of business communications
today. However, there are some things that clearly cause
trouble for journalists. For example, email is the
preferred choice of contact for journalists, but
incorrectly routed email (poor targeting) and clogging
of inboxes with large attachments are serious problems
that PR managers must address.
as it may seem, while 88% of journalists visit a company
Web site when writing about them, only 18% of the PR
managers integrate their PR activity with their online
newsroom. This discrepancy reflects the disconnect
between how effective the online channel can be and how
poorly it is being used.
disturbing is the gap between what journalists look for
online and what is provided. While journalists need
effective search capability to find information quickly,
very few sites (24%) make use of that feature in a high
quality. Journalists are also looking for image files,
third-party research, and easy to find information – all
of which are elements lacking in most sites.
similar discrepancies regarding contact information and
up-to-date information, though at less drastic levels.
The bottom line is that while journalists consider
online newsrooms crucial to finding additional
information for companies, when they go there they are
usually frustrated – not the best way to get ink and
conclusion resonated strongly with us – PR agencies
should consider using quality of placement as the key to
valuing the relationship instead of billing for the
amount of time it takes to go through the process. It
seems that we have been saying that (and walking that
walk) all along.