Should you use a wire service for news releases?

SHIFT conducted a survey asking paid professional bloggers and journalists (the audience that PR professionals most often work with for media placements) two questions in a survey. The first question was how often they read news releases that were sent to them by PR professionals and brands:

How often do you read press releases that are sent to you by agencies, companies, or PR professionals?

While 43% indicated that they never read them, the majority indicated that they did, which was clearly reason enough for PR professionals to do what they’ve done for decades – reach out to appropriate, targeted media outlets with relevant, targeted, valuable news to make a match for coverage.

The second question was focused on the use of news releases and press releases distributed to wire services such as MarketWire, BusinessWire, PRWeb, and others, “How often do you proactively search press releases from a wire service like Marketwire, PRWeb, etc.?” The answer:

How often do you proactively search press releases from a wire service like Marketwire, PRWeb, etc.?

The tables have turned a bit; those who answered Never are now in the majority. However, roughly 15% still said they always went searching for press releases from wire services. If you’re hunting for coverage as a brand or a PR professional, you can’t afford to ignore the 15% who always do or the 45% or always or sometimes do so – that’s a giant chunk of influential audience that can’t be ignored.

These survey results dispel the mistaken perception that wire services are irrelevant in the modern social media era. Social media gives us another channel to reach out to our targeted audiences, but it doesn’t replace or destroy the channels that came before it.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

Disclosure Statement

SHIFT commissioned Google Consumer Surveys to collect responses from a representative sample of 200 respondents who answered yes to the following screening question: “Are you a journalist or paid professional blogger?” This survey collected 34,721 impressions and 10,561 responses for a 30.4% response rate with an RMSE score of 3.0%. Possible answers were yes or no. For the question “How often do you read press releases that are sent to you by agencies, companies, or PR professionals?”, 172 responses were collected from the pool of screened respondents out of 438 impressions for a response rate of 45.7% with an RMSE score of 4.5%. Possible answers were a weighted scale from 1 to 5, where 1 was never and 5 was always. SHIFT Communications was the sole investor in the study. The survey population was the adult Internet user population of the United States. The date of the survey period was 2/4/13-2/13/13.

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Posted on April 25, 2013 in Press Release, Public Relations

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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