Friday, August 12, 2011

Social Media and Net Use by Business Journalists

Business-to-business media continues to do quite well, arguably in part because they have embraced new media forms, both for distribution and as information resource.  The 2011 Arketi Web Watch Media Survey shows high levels of social media use, as well as use of other Internet resources for information-gathering.
This latest report found that 92% of business journalists surveyed had a LinkedIn account (up from 85% in 2009).  Respondents reported using LinkedIn to research and connect with potential sources.   But they don’t rely solely on one social media outlet: 85% had Facebook accounts, and 84% had Twitter accounts (up from 24% in 2009).  Roughly half also reported having YouTube accounts (58% - YouTube is increasingly used by businesses and PR firms to post interviews and other promotional materials) and 49% of the business journalists reported subscribing to one or more blogs.
What’s perhaps more important is that the report showed that business journalists use these resources – 64% spend more than 20 hours a week online, and 21% report being online more than 40 hours a week.  71% reported getting story ideas from email pitches,, 56% had found ideas for stories on blogs, and 44% indicated using Twitter or similar sites. Virtually all used the Net to read news (98%), and 91% report using the Net to search for story ideas or resources to use in their stories. Two thirds report microblogging (such as Tweeting), and half report also contributing to blogs.
Other interesting findings dealt with credibility.  In the 2011 survey 82% of the journalists saw companies without websites as being less credible.  On the other hand, in an earlier survey (2007), 84% of business journalists indicated a willingness to use blogs as primary or secondary resources for articles, and most felt that monitoring employee blogging was ethical.

Sources: “Journalists Get Idea on Social Networks: Company Sites and PR for Support”, Research Brief from the Center for Media Research.
2011 Arketi Web Watch Media Survey”, (2011, 2009, and 2007 reports available for download)

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