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What We Need to Know about the Media’s Use of Social Media

Posted By PSGPlus, Monday 10 August 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
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    We hear a lot about the blurring of the lines between media and social media. A new study from Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University of 3,000 journalists (but none from Ireland, so do bear that in mind) shows just how much.

    The study is the result of a survey of 3,000 journalists in nine countries with 20% of them based in the UK. According to the study:

    • Social media is extremely important to journalists.
    • More than half of UK journalists say they couldn’t do their job without it. 48% say that they regularly read the posts of the people that they follow and monitor discussions on socials platforms about their own content.

    Despite the popularity of social media, email still ranks highly as the preferred method of contact. 86% of media professionals in the UK prefer to be contacted by email, 32% via social media and 39% are happy to receive phone calls.

    When it comes to who they turn to when looking for content, although 46% of UK journalists say public relations people, a significant 33% want to hear from experts.

    So what conclusions can we draw about how we engage with the media? 

    • Different media professionals use social media differently, therefore your method of contact needs to be tailored to their preferences in the same way brands segment audiences to deliver tailored communication
    • Journalists deal with a heavy load of social media traffic but are becoming more strategic about how they spend time on social media. This means they are not ‘always on’ but depend on social media as part of their toolkit
    • Journalists are clearly focused on using Facebook and Twitter according to the report
    • Although social media is increasing productivity, it is not resulting in a reduced workload. Journalists will make strategic decisions about their principal use of social media and their preferred tools for achieving their work goals
    • Email will continue to dominate the PR-journalist relationship. For journalists, the preference for telephone contact will continue to drop and be replaced by social media
    • Journalists will continue to rely on experts so they do not compromise their values and views of their profession by sourcing from perceived unreliable sources

    This survey was originally published on

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