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:
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:
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.
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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