How much do PR professionals and journalists need each other?

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Urban legend will tell you that journalists and PR professionals have a contentious, you-need-me-more-than-I-need-you relationship. For all the horror stories about relationships gone wrong between these two sides, there are always the unknown success stories as well.

Cision and Bulldog Reporter recently released a study that polled 1,729 media members – including journalists, editors, freelancers, bloggers, and broadcast reporters and producers – and found out some interesting data regarding how much PR professionals and journalists work together. The survey also revealed insight into how budget cuts have affected newsrooms and social media’s role in news reporting.

Here are some of the results:

•over 57 percent said that PR people help them generate story ideas at least every month. Slightly more than 30 percent said such assistance happens at least every two weeks

•overall, 94 percent said that PR assistance helped generate at least one story idea during the course of a year, while 6 percent reported never getting PR assistance

•17 percent of respondents rely on PR assistance and press releases to develop 40 percent or more of the stories they file, although 61 percent use those aids in only one to 20 percent of their stories

•52 percent reported that they promote their stories on the social Web

•about 54 percent reported editorial staffing cuts

•46 percent noted a demand for greater story output

•24 percent were asked to work longer hours

•24 percent were asked to take on multiple beats

• 45 percent said they were annoyed by PR people who don’t know the subjects or beats the respondent covers

•59 percent said that PR people send irrelevant material

•Almost 27 percent said PR people don’t fully understand the stories and subjects they themselves are proposing for coverage

What can be learned from this and do these results surprise you? Do you think these statistics would have been different from a poll taken five years ago?

Cision and Bulldog Reporter jointly conducted the survey to analyze changing journalist working conditions, attitudes toward public relations professionals, and the utility of public relations to the editorial process. The survey also established benchmarks so that changes in such metrics may be tracked annually.

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Cision's research staff makes over 20,000 media updates to Cision's Media Database each day! For more updates and other thought leadership in the industry, follow @Media_Moves.

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