Oriella survey – are the findings really that surprising?

A report, which studied over 770 journalists from across the globe to find out how digital technology is affecting journalism, has been issued by Oriella PR Network.

 A lot of the findings are to be expected; nearly half of journalists surveyed expect the print press to decline even further, and many realise that future editorial opportunities exist online.

 There were a couple of stats that made me chuckle though.

Around 46% of journalists said they were expected to produce more work, 30% said they are working longer hours and 28% have less time to research stories.

So, realistically, 54% of journalists are working the same amount as before, 70% are leaving bang on 5.30pm and 72% have loads of time to research stories!?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining.

A busy journalist is far more likely to accept a (decent) PR story than one who is brimming with their own ideas, and the time and resources to develop them.

The Guardian breaks down the report quite handily into ‘the good’, ‘the bad’ and ‘the ugly,’ and for me there were two findings that I found particularly interesting:

1. PRESS RELEASES STILL THE BEST WAY TO PITCH STORIES TO JOURNALISTS

Surprisingly – in my view – The Guardian has put the fact that 75 per cent of journalists still want emailed press releases and photographs into the ‘bad’ section of their report:

Journalists are less interested in receiving multimedia content from PRs; 75% want emailed releases and half want photographs. Does this mean less imaginative and experimental editorial?

Now, I know there has been all this talk about ‘the death of the press release’ but for me, and the clients I work with, it’s still a vital part of a successful PR programme.

As long as it’s done well and features targeted content, a strong news or local angle and a decent supporting photo, it can, and does, get great results.

2. PAID FOR CONTENT COULD BECOME THE NORM

There was huge controversy when The Times announced they would be charging for their online content (check out my previous post here).

But it looks as though, despite the outcry from The Times’ competitors and readers, that more newspapers may be set to follow, with 30 per cent of publishers exploring paid-for websites and 22 per cent looking at charges for smartphone apps.

Personally, although I don’t like the idea of having to pay (when I can still get it for free), the fact that journalists contributions are being given a tangible value I actually find quite refreshing.

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