Journalists love Twitter, favour personal contacts over press releases, rate NGOs highly and companies poorly, and think that PR people don’t understand their needs. These are some of the key takeaways from a major survey of Brussels-based correspondents written and published by Dober Partners today.
The poll of 80 correspondents, almost 10% of the total number in Brussels, offers a unique insight into what journalists are looking for from the army of communicators that tries to influence them.
Trust in the media is down, online video use is up, more and more people get their news on mobiles and social media and consumers are still not willing to pay for online news. These are some of the key findings from this year’s Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
Here are five takeaways from the report, which is based on a survey of 50,000 online news consumers from 26 countries:
Social media for news is growing
Just over half say they use social media as a source of news, while around one in ten say it is their main source. Facebook is the biggest platform for finding, consuming and sharing news (44%), while over a quarter of 18-24s say social media (28%) is their main source of news, overtaking television (24%) for the first time.
Isabelle Leonard is a passionate public relations practitioner whose career has spanned two continents. Specialising in crisis communication, the highlight of Isabelle’s career came in 2006 when she won the European Sabre award. Commonly known as the Oscars of Communication, Isabelle beat four other competitors for the honour. In the past, Isabelle has worked for organisations such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York where she worked on making films for temporary exhibits. One year later she moved back to Brussels and began working for Interel, where she was a senior consultant for international clients. Today, Isabelle owns her own communication firm, Art & Facts, combining her love for public relations with her love of art. Isabelle’s next project will be to move into documentary making – in between giving clients advice on how to construct PR plans of course.
Just over two years ago, we published a detailed breakdown of the Brussels press corps that shattered two myths: that the number of journalists reporting on the EU is shrinking – it has constantly grown – and that Brussels has the largest concentration of international correspondents in the world (that would be London.)
We followed that up with a piece on ‘10 Things You Need to Know About the Brussels Press Corps’ that contained such sparking nuggets of information as: almost half the correspondents based in the EU capital work alone, Chinese news agency Xinhua has 23 accredited correspondents and French reporter Jean Quatremer has the most followers on Twitter (still true.)
Join us as actor, author and film director Danny Scheinmann (pictured above) leads a free, two-hour masterclass on the importance of storytelling for business on Monday 13th June. Danny will also be signing copies of his latest novel The Half Life of Joshua Jones over bubbles and nibbles.
SILICON JOURNALISM – HOW TECH COMPANIES ARE BECOMING MEDIA GIANTS
Social media and tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Snapchat are moving forcefully into the journalism business by publishing news on their mobile apps. This could be good news for users, who stand to benefit from faster, richer news. Some publishers could also gain extra revenue from more viewers and readers of their products – especially younger ones – on mobile devices.
But there are obvious risks too. With the tech and social media firms hosting the news, publishers will see less traffic and therefore less advertising on their sites. Smaller news producers lacking the resources to produce content for the new platforms could be shut out of the game. There is also the threat that these Silicon Valley mega-firms will move from distributing news to producing it, a move that could crush even the biggest media players.
Since the advent of the Internet just over 20 years ago the journalism industry has been revolutionised by new technologies such as smartphones and tablets. It has been disrupted by the emergence of major new players such as Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. It has been hit by the slump in advertising revenues and the collapse of newspaper readership. And publics used to being broadcasted to on media companies’ terms have now become “the people formerly known as the audience” in Jay Rosen’s memorable phrase.
Hailing from Flanders, Elizabeth Van Den Bergh is a freelance communication consultant and trainer. At the age of 29 Elizabeth was named a deputy director for BIP Huis van het Gewest and two years later went on to lead her own PR team at Mostra Communications. While team leader she worked on projects such as the European Year Against Poverty and the International Year of Biodiversity. Elizabeth is fluent in Dutch, English, French and Italian. Awarded Competent Communicator at Toastmasters, she is also a trained public speaker.
Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter, which we hope to make a regular thing. If you don’t already subscribe, please do so here.
The latest novel by our storytelling trainer Danny Scheinmann – The Half Life of Joshua Jones – will be published on March 24. Danny, an actor, film director and best-selling author will lead a storytelling masterclass and sign copies of his book in our offices on June 13. More details to follow.
PITCHING TO JOURNALISTS IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
When pitching a story to journalists, email is the preferred medium. A recent study showed that nine out of 10 journalists prefer this method over social media and phone pitches. See our analysis here.
Aside from media training and copywriting, our Managing Director Gareth Harding has been busy producing articles for POLITICO, the EUobserver and others. Enjoy three of his latest posts below.
Dear American Voters: Welcome to Europe As Donald Drumpf sends shockwaves across the world by upending party politics, read Gareth’s thoughts on how the polarisation of American politics mirrors that of Europe.
Ha Ha Journalism: John Oliver The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host may deny he is a reporter but his unique brand of investigative comedy proves John Oliver is guilty of ‘committing acts of journalism.’
The EU in Limbo “The EU is in danger of becoming little more than a glorified think-tank.” Gareth on the tough choices facing the EU.
GMF MEDIA TRAINING
Media training can be fun – as young politicians from both sides of the Atlantic discovered at this German Marshall Fund workshop
CYPRIOT JOURNALISTS VISIT
Cypriot journalists meeting EU Commissioner Stylianides at the end of a Brussels study trip organised for the US Embassy in Nicosia
REWRITE OR RETHINK?
Communication adviser Mathew Lowry wrote a guest blog for Clear Europe on why you should re-think before just reposting your blog across each social media platform.
Clear Europe is delighted to be advising environmental NGO FERN on how to sharpen its message on the importance of forests in combating climate change. We are also working with the European Commission to make its European Development Days conference in June a success. If you need help fine-tuning your messages or making them more media-friendly, don’t hesitate to contact us.
TRAINER PROFILE – JOHN HOLLAND
One of our most experienced trainers is John Holland, a former journalist turned media adviser who loves telling stories, listening to stories and being in the middle of stories. Check out his profile below.
More than nine in ten journalists prefer to be pitched by email rather than phone and over half rely on social media to write their stories. These are some of the headline conclusions from Cision’s State of the Media Report 2016, which explores journalist practices in the United States and Canada in 2015 and looks at future challenges and trends.
A key difference from previous years is the way journalists prefer to be approached by communication professionals. 93% of journalists said email was the best pitching platform, while 37% considered the phone off limits.
But what makes journalists follow up the pitch? In the US, 54% said they would pursue the pitch if all the details were included, while 13% of journalists only followed it up if they had a personal connection with the PR person. Surprisingly for a profession enamoured by scoops, only 7.5% considered exclusivity as important.