Digital Media Survey Discloses Journalists Want More Images and Videos

There is a disconnect between the content that journalists and bloggers want and companies are giving them, according to a survey by PRESSfeed, advisers on social media newsrooms.

The survey of 130 PR professionals, an unspecified number of journalists, and an analysis of 300 corporate news rooms disclosed that:

  • 45% of PR people surveyed said visual elements of a news story are not important at all to journalists. 39% said they felt it was not necessary to add images, videos or graphics to a news release. 80% of journalists polled say it is important or very important to have access to photos and visual images.
  • 76% of editors at media websites prefer to receive their videos with an embed code so that is quick and easy to post the video on the site. Only 28%  of corporate news rooms offer embed codes with visuals.
  • Only 14% of 500 press releases recently posted on four PR wire services were optimized for search engines.

The survey cited the Pew State of the News Media 2012 Report that search was the one factor that most impacted the news media in the last decade. 98% of journalists start a story by doing an online search of the topic they’ve been assigned to write about.

This isn’t surprising to me as a blogger. Finding background information before the Internet was so much more difficult when I was a reporter for a business publication. How fortunate we are today to be able to source whatever we need from the web.

As a member of the blogging community that many companies are targeting, I was quite surprised at these findings. I use embed code all the time from YouTube and SlideShare. I wonder why companies don’t feel it’s necessary to offer embed code in their social newsrooms. Do you have any idea why they don’t?

There are many other nuggets of useful information in this study, which you can find in the slide show below and in the PDF file that summarizes the study results in narrative form. PRESSfeed-2012-Online-Newsroom-Survey

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  1. That was very interesting. Regarding images and videos, I think they are missing out on a huge opportunity by not adding them wherever possible.

    What ever would we do when we need to find out a piece of information or make sure what we quote is really true without the internet. It has transformed our lives in so many ways. I think the ability to search and research, for me, is one of the biggest. 🙂

    • I couldn’t agree more, Susan. When I think of all those days pouring through magazines and newspapers to find background information on a topic. It seems like it was the dark ages — but the dark ages only ended a few years ago!

  2. How amazing! Have the folks who don’t think images, graphics or images aren’t important ever done a search for their own personal interests? Really! Whether I search for something on a person level or business, I’m drawn to the search finds where 1) the title fits and 2) when I get to the page from the link an image enhances both my welcome and what content I expect.

    But then again, what is the age of these folks? Or their predisposition towards other ways of writing their story?

    Personally, I’m always at the front of the change wave and I’m not going back to the library and newspapers for research.

    Good one Jeannette.

    • Pat — I was very surprised at the findings. Images are so important in grabbing your attention. Readers look at images or videos before they ever get to the written content.

  3. Cheryl — It is so easy to use embedded video. YouTube always supplies it as does TED and other enlightened companies. I find that if I’m writing about a topic and want to use video, I can do a search and almost always find just the right video to accompany my post.

  4. Hi Jeannette,

    If you think of the old days you always had visuals included in media kits rather than just written information. Today we are lucky as we have many ways to show visuals and it just makes sense to include them online.

    • Susan — you’re quite right and I assembled many a press kit in my day — with visuals. It is so much easier now. You don’t even have to buy a bunch of photo copies. That’s why I wrote the post. I was so surprised at the findings.

  5. Jeannette, you always bring it with the facts and findings. You’re the real life Lois Lane in my life. I don’t have any idea why this is, but I think that the web is still in its infancy and companies, or creators of content, are being protective of theirs, and that’s why companies aren’t using it. Not so much that they don’t want to, but maybe they can’t. I don’t know. I just know I’m glad we don’t have to go to the library to find something we need.

    • Thanks, Dennis, for your kind remarks. Companies issue press releases in order to get publicity. So there is no reason why they shouldn’t include images, at the least, and videos demonstrating a new product, for example. It will only increase the chances of their getting media coverage. Ditto about no longer having to trudge to the library.

  6. Interesting post.

    I think that it’s great to provide additional info in the form of a video, but I really dislike getting the bulk of a message by way of a video.

    I like the info to be before me in easy to grasp snippets or bullets, but I’m afraid I just don’t have time to watch slide shows or videos in most cases.

    • Doreen – you make a very valid point. I,too,like it when the script of the video is reproduced under the video for quick viewing. However, there is an advantage to a video if you want to see how the speakers handle themselves or if they are demonstrating a product. Companies need to provide multi-channels of communication to meet the various ways that their target audience wants to receive information.

  7. Jeannette, can’t help wondering how PR people can be of the impression that illustrations are not fundamental to journalists? They are, always have been and always will be. A picture tells a thousand words.

    Both on- and off- line excellent illustrations are extremely important. If you want to draw people’s attention, that is.

    Have worked with every area mentioned and I simply cannot comprehend what kind of people were surveyed and where?