August 29, 2011 / by Heidi Sullivan


Over the past month, Cision has published two social journalism studies (one in the UK and one for all of Europe) in conjunction with Canterbury Christ ChurchUniversity which attempt to identify the whats, whys and hows of social media use among journalists of all kinds.

Key findings include:

  • In the four countries surveyed (UK, Finland, Sweden and Germany), 96% of journalists use social media for their work in a typical week
  • While Twitter is the key social technology for UK journalists, the social media channel most widely used by journalists across Europe is – surprisingly perhaps – Wikipedia
  • UK and Finnish journalists are especially active in social media, adopting social technology for their work more readily, but Finnish journalists are also the most critical of social media and fear a negative impact on the quality of their work.
  • Overall, it is clear that social media is supplementing the resources and communication options available to journalists, and is being used alongside, not replacing, existing practices, from search engines to drinks with PR pros
  • 89% of the surveyed journalists most commonly use social media for publishing and distributing their work
  • PR professionals still use traditional forms of communications to contact journalists such as email/fax (97%), press releases (86%) and face-to-face contact (48%)
  • The vast majority (85%) of UK journalists used some type of mobile devices in their work, with smartphones being the most popular tool (76%)

The results also showed differences in how journalists engage depending on what media type they are chiefly contributing to (Radio and social media journalists fully embrace social media with 61% actively blogging, whereas newspaper and magazine journalists are active to a lesser degree – 51%.) “The valid data clearly demonstrates enormous differences in uptake, views and usage of social media among journalists influenced by what type of media the journalists works for, the size of the organization as well as the journalist’s seniority,” said  Falk Rehkopf, Director, Special Projects (Europe) with Cision. “I was surprised to learn how important social media are to radio journalists in comparison to newspaper journalists who are least engaged.”

You can download the UK findings of our European Social Journalism Survey or download the summary of the full European results. Keep an eye out later this quarter for our North American survey with the Newhouse School of Public Relations at Syracuse University.

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About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.