Media Savvy: Are You Fully Socially Engaged?

by PR Coach

73% of influencers using social media channels
73% of journalists using social media channels to interact with PR

A new research report may finally convince you to dump email in favor of social media channels when it comes to media relations.

The Cision/Newhouse School 2011 Digital Influencer survey found that more than 70% of digital influencers now engage with PR pros through social media.

These influencers included both traditional journalists as well as new “digital influencers” such as bloggers, writers, online publishers and news aggregators, academics and consultants.

73% of journalists interacted mostly through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn while 69% of other digital influencers used blogs and other social media channels to interact in addition.

Highlights of the influencers report included:

  • 55% interact with PR pros on Twitter, 47% on Facebook
  • 63% welcome story pitches and ideas through social media
  • 87% of journalists and 85% of “other” influencers maintain an active Twitter presence for their website or blog
  • 81 percent (journalists) and 78 percent (other contributors) have Facebook pages.

“The Cision/Newhouse School survey results document the fact that we’ve hit a tipping point in marketing and communication, with social media now a key way to communicate with and through the media,” said Heidi Sullivan, Vice President, Global Media Research, Cision.

Old Media/PR Habits Die Hard

94% of media and 79% of other digital influencers still prefer to get news releases by e-mailWhile the sheer scale and shift to social media interaction are impressive, it’s worth noting that traditional communication is still preferred in a couple of areas.

94% of media and 79% of other digital influencers (88.6% combined) still prefer to receive news releases by e-mail. Fewer than 5% preferred telephone or fax. Point taken!

Does that mean that life just got easier for PR pros pitching media? Not so much. There are still challenges in our relationship with journalists and other influencers.

While 47% of “other” digital influencers found social media “somewhat reliable” only 37% of journalists agreed. Clearly, you’ll still need a great idea and meaningful pitch to gain media coverage or influence.

Now and in the future, public relations professionals had better be getting way more “social” and engaged without losing the critical ability to find the news and make it compelling for every channel – traditional or social.

So, how are you doing? Are you fully engaged? Or are “influencer” relations gradually replacing traditional media relations in your everyday work? I’d enjoy hearing from you in the comments below.

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Author: Jeff Domansky

Visuals: Cision 

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