Reporters Increasingly Rely on Social Media

Recently, I wrote about reporters crossing to the dark side and seeking PR positions in response to social media-driven media layoffs.

Today, Bulldog Reporter released a new survey on media relations practices, particularly how journalists are using Social Media to stay on top of their beats.

  • 75% of journalists read one blog or more (compared to 70% last year) and 29% read 5 or more blogs to keep up with their beat (compared to 25% a year ago).
  • More than three-fourths of journalists surveyed use social media to research stories (compared to 67% last year).
  • More than half (56%) use NewsStreams and micro-blogs like Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku to identify new leads.
  • Almost 38% of journalists now say they visit a social media site at least once a week as part of their reporting, compared to only 28% last year.
  • More than half (53%) of journalists say they visit Facebook, YouTube and Social Bookmarks at least once as month as part of their research – up from 44% last year.
  • Nearly 19% receive five or more RSS feeds of news services, blogs, podcasts or videocasts every week, compared with only 16% a year ago and 44% receive at least one regular RSS feed.
  • The majority (76.4%) of journalists said that they use local newspapers to follow news, while 63% check the New York Times, 51% scan Google News and 32% visit Yahoo! News to stay informed.
  • 34% of journalists use Wikis as a living media kit for the companies and beats they cover.

I’ve also found that many reporters and PR pros are seeing terrific value from sites like Help A Reporter Out where journalists can submit their queries (like ProfNet, but free). Likewise PitchEngine has proven itself to be a valuable tool in connecting social network profiles and podcasts/webcasts with the right audience. Finally, ReportingOn and Journalisted and BeatBlogging have helped PR pros and reporters connect over relevant content.

So, once again I say, if you have not infused social media into your PR strategies, you are missing the mark. The game has changed folks, be sure you change with it.

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