Journalists on PR

Press offices, company spokespeople and company blogs are the main sources of information when it comes to researching companies, according to journalists themselves. That is one finding from a global journalist survey published by UK-based public relations firm 10Yetis. Then survey’s report promises insights into “the likes, loves and loathes” of over 2,600 journalists based in the UK, France, Germany and America, and topics discussed range from the daily work load to the kind of tools used. Naturally, at Communication Director, we’re more interested in what the survey has to say about the attitude of journalists towards their counterparts in public relations. As mentioned above, the humble press office came out on top in all four overall regional responses (44 per cent of German respondents, 39 per cent in the UK and France, and 36 per cent in the US), with company spokespeople a close second in all four regions. Some bad news: most respondents, again in all four regions, agree that, compared to “this time last year” (they survey was conducted in late 2012), public relations professionals are not generally getting better at pitching the right types of stories, with 43 per cent of UK, 34 per cent French, 47 per cent US and 45 per cent German respondents agreeing. The survey suggests several ways to improve public relations pitches: “convoluted content” and “read like an article” are the two most cited “biggest turn off(s) when receiving a press release”.  Other failures are “poor spelling and grammar”, “lack of contact details” and “release sent as an attachment”. Another lesson for public relations professionals to take away from this report: in relation to their biggest pressures, harassment from PRs was mentioned “quite frequently” by the journalists from the bigger titles. According to the report’s executive summary, the comment section for this questions was full: “a large number of the comments were around the fact PR people seem to call to chase every press release, something that we all know is a bug bear( …)”.  Taken from Global Journalist Survey, a 10 Yetis White Paper 

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