Media Trends 2017 – Revealing Major Touch Points between Journalists and Brands

“News aktuell”, a subsidiary of Germany´s leading news agency dpa, has just released its “Media Trend Monitor 2017.” The paper is titled “Focal Point – What´s of Concern to Journalists in Today´s Germany.” The survey illustrates how the news profession is under increasing pressure from several sides, among them populist movements, shrinking circulation and accusations of lying to their audience. From the point of view of journalists – be it freelancing, contract reporters or payroll editors – credibility, fake news and independent work are currently the three main challenges for the profession. While their audience is losing more trust in the news industry, journalists are aware that their biggest professional risk these days is publishing external content without due proof and verification. In worn-out newsrooms, diminished by constant cost cutting, most of the editorial staff just doesn´t have enough time for exhausting verification.

For communication professionals the most interesting points in this paper are those that reveal where companies and brands can utilize their established touch points with the media – traditional and social – in order to provide more relevant and meaningful content.

Personal Conversation with Executives is Top Priority

One of the striking points in this paper is the conclusion that personal conversations are considered to be the most favored source of information for journalists. Important to keep in mind: Journalists prefer to talk to executives and specialized managers, but not so much with the communications department.

Background talks (58%), personal conversations (57%) and press releases (44%) are the three most prioritized ways of gathering useful information. It is somewhat striking that social media ranks last in this list of preferred channels (14%) for journalistic input. For companies this means that it is important to offer the media direct and personal contacts to executives outside of routine press conferences in order to convey their messages.

Research through Google – Social Media not Key

When reporters do their research they mostly turn to Google (62%), personal contacts (50%) or the homepage of the companies (45%) involved in their story. Social media ranks last but two in this list of preferred contact points for research, only ahead of colleagues in the newsroom and Wikipedia. External relation and communication managers in the corporate world need to pay special attention to these preferred channels when they want to get their message out and distribute relevant brand news and storytelling.

One of the most interesting observations in this paper is to what extent journalists are bugged by the way many communications officers do their job. Journalists criticize that all too often they don´t even get return calls and that external communication staff tends to indulge in fulsome praise while neglecting to offer relevant and insightful information. This proves our point at globeone that it pays for companies to choose a more journalistic approach in their communications strategy. Go out and tell your story, organize your work like a real newsroom and make use of all relevant channels.

When it comes to social media, Facebook (68%), Twitter(51%), YouTube (45%) and Xing (26%) are the channels and platforms journalists use most. LinkedIn is only second to last (17%), Snapchat is almost irrelevant for journalists with only 2 percent of them making use of this potential news source. This ranking clearly highlights where companies need to be present with their news dissemination and storytelling.

Source of the survey