By Mike Jamieson – Managing Director

Every year in January, communications industry pundits tell us what lies ahead for us in the coming year. This is usually based on an in-depth knowledge of our business and includes the knowledge that comes from years of experience and if they are truly smart, the thoughts of those bright young people just entering our field.
I read quite a few of them and am often inspired and informed.

This year my favorite was the survey of financial journalists by Muck Rack. I have edited the following summary to feature the most salient points of the survey. While this survey specifically speaks about financial journalism, I have primarily included those results that would be applicable for any journalist in any field

For the complete survey you can go to https://muckrack.com/

Industry and Social Media Trends
Journalists said online newspapers and magazines were their primary news source (60 percent), followed by Twitter (25 percent).
Additionally, 39 percent expect to spend more time on Twitter in 2019. While 50 percent expect to spend less time on Facebook.
And in today’s media environment, we consume and distribute news primarily on social media. That makes the nature of PR and journalism extremely time-sensitive. So, it’s not surprising that almost 76 percent of journalists say social media is a valuable source for finding news to report on.
Having a strong social media presence and working social into your overall communications strategy is also a good way to seize timely media opportunities.
Accordingly, 58 percent of journalists consult a company’s social media channels when reporting on them.

Media Relations
Over the years, our research has found that a lack of personalization is the number one reason journalists reject pitches.
According to this survey, 60 percent of journalists say they reject pitches for this very reason.
And 56 percent of journalists don’t like receiving pitches via social media at all.
Here are five key takeaways for communications pros:
1. Build a social media presence for your client or your company.
2. Implement a social media strategy to maximize opportunities and mitigate potential crises.
3. Personalize your media pitches.
4. Attend industry conferences to keep up with news and trending topics.
5. Keep track of what journalists are saying on social media and which articles they’re sharing there.

Use Survey Results for Success

Stay on top of the news, trends, and important topics by reading online newspapers or magazines. Pick a few key news organizations and follow them on social media channels.
Twitter is a good source for news as it is happening. And LinkedIn is a good resource for corporate news and emerging industry trends. But keep in mind, you need to check the facts when curating content from social media channels.

Here are a few more key statistics from this survey:

  • Academic subject matter experts (91.6 percent), industry CEOs and executives (89.1 percent) and company PR professionals (52.5 percent) are among the most credible sources for their reporting.
  • Eighty-five percent of journalists believe the most trusted sources in the financial industry today are print newspapers and by online newspapers (83.3 percent).
  • And 63 percent of journalists find it important to attend industry conferences to keep up with news and trending topics.
  • Almost forty-two percent of journalists think the way most companies share information with the media is outdated.
  • Not surprisingly, 74 percent of journalists track how many times their story has been shared on social media.
  • 79 percent agree that when reporting on the sector, they prefer traditional numerical and fact-based disclosures.
  • While 49 percent agree that when researching a company, they’re reporting on, they would like to see more visual ways of sharing information (eg., images, video, infographics).

So there you have it, a few eye openers and a little advice and direction from the experts. Happy 2019!

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