Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Pressure to produce more unique content with fewer staff, learning new digital skills, and misinformation in social media were among the top issues identified by journalists across Australia in a new media survey conducted by press release distribution company Newsmaker. 

The Newsmaker Australian Media Survey 2013 asked journalists about the challenges they face in the digital media era and their views on PR best practice, press releases and social media.

Newsmaker CEO Leila Henderson says the results provide a clear and frank picture that will inform the media, PR and content marketing industry.

“The survey provides data and direct comments related to story research and the day-to-day challenges of reduced budgets and smaller newsrooms,” says Henderson, a social media commentator and former journalist with News Ltd, Toronto Star Group, Fairfax Media and Australian Consolidated Press.   

“We believe the results will pave the way for PR and related industries to develop new strategies for working with media and communicating with clients.”

Journalists were asked about the impact of social media on journalism:

  • Social media is used to source stories on a daily basis by 40% of journalists surveyed, against over 60% who use search engines, press releases and personal contacts daily.
  • 66% felt that social media has made journalism easier in terms of sourcing content, but approximately 60% felt that social media threatened high quality journalism.
  • 63% strongly felt that social media was decreasing journalists’ influence, against 33% who strongly felt this was not the case.
  • 89% felt that social media spreads journalist stories more quickly to increase readership.
  • Only 2% said they never used press releases, but just 1% wanted follow-up to a press release on social media.

Journalists were asked state their views on PR pitches and to outline their biggest challenges. Here are examples from hundreds of written responses, which ranged from the pessimistic to the practical need to learn new skills:

 “…I am a firm believer that the printed word will remain the bastion of trust and legitimate opinion. Social media is travelling a road to purgatory”

“[My biggest challenge is…] maintaining a 'fan base' which can be monetised ... Developing content for that fan base which is relevant, original and creative.”

What makes a good PR pitch?

“Lack of obvious spin or clumsy branding references, basis for claims, relevance to my readership, clear language, simple formatting - in short, does it inform my readers? = yes. Does it attempt to sell at my readers? = no.”

To find out more about the Newsmaker Australian Research Survey 2013, please contact:

Leila Henderson

Email:    [email protected]
Phone:    0414 69 70 71
Skype:   leilahenderson

Newsmaker’s founder and CEO Leila Henderson trained as a journalist in Scotland, working in London, Toronto and Sydney in senior editorial roles, for publishers that include News Ltd, Toronto Star Group, Fairfax, Reader’s Digest and Australian Consolidated Press.  Following a career in PR that with top agencies such as Blackie McDonald, Howorth and Porter Novelli, she founded an agency specialising in media contacts management in 2003.  From this grew the Newsmaker Online Newsrooms service, which develops web and mobile products that that enhance communication between brands and audiences to build credibility and influence.

LinkedIn:               Social Media Australia

Contact Profile

Lisa Kennewell, President, WIT-SA

M: 0414 69 70 71


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