What Do Journalists Want? A Press Release and An Image, That’s all…

With the myriad types of content now available, and claim and counter claim being made about the merits of content, blogs, infographics, video, live streaming etc., etc., it was interesting to read the recent ‘State of the Media’ 2019 survey of journalists (by Cision) which asked among other things, what type of information journalists like to receive.

Remember, the specialised media remains a key influencer of the B2B purchase decision – when asked by inbound specialists HubSpot which sources of information they relied on when making a purchase decision for business software, 39% named ‘the media’, making it the main source of third party information, coming in third after ‘word of mouth’ and ‘customer referrals’. This figure rose to 44% among C-level executives (CEO, CMO).

With such a strong influence on the purchase decision, it was interesting to see what sort of information journalists like to receive about brands/products.

The survey was based on of 1,999 responses from journalists from across the globe, and examined a number of issues relating to journalism in 2019 – what drives reporting, what are the perceived threats to the media etc.

In the section entitled “What Journalists Want”, journalists were asked what type of information they want to receive from brands, 71% said news announcements and press releases (which has been the top answer for the past four years). Invitations to events and original research reports came in close after that. “Content marketing” came in third from bottom at just 18%.

Images and useful infographics are journalists’ preferred visual media. Coming in top of this category at 27% was simply ‘images’, a full 9% better than the next best choice ‘infographics’, video and user generated content trailing at 13% and 8% respectively.

The importance of researching your media audience was also underlined with 75% of journalists saying that fewer than a quarter of the pitches they receive were relevant.

So the messages from the Cision survey are clear: the humble press release remains journalists’ favourite form of communication from firms, backed up with an image or two. For someone like me who has worked in media relations for tech firms for over 20 years, this comes as no surprise.

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