Business Wire Journalist Survey to Monitor Trends in Media Research Tools

August 2, 2011

For nearly 50 years Business Wire has long served two constituencies: those companies and organizations that distribute their press releases over our network; and information recipients, foremost among them members of the media.  Today we are conducting a short survey to look at the news gathering process of today’s journalists.

The term “journalist” has expanded over the years from professional reporters and writers to include more audiences like bloggers, vloggers, etc.  The way the media goes about their everyday news gathering efforts has changed as well.  This quick survey looks at traditional news sources, multimedia, social media, and the usage of these communications tools.

Our Global Media Relations team works with reporters across the world everyday to provide them with free access to our PressPass service and other tools for journalists.  These brief surveys help keep us aware of the changes in work-flow among an audience critical to our business so we can continue to offer solutions to match their needs.

If you’re a member of the media please take a moment — 94 seconds, actually — to take our survey today.

PR Peeps Poll: Generating Clips Still Most Important in Measuring Press Release Success

February 22, 2011
by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media 

Our first PR Peeps Poll for 2011 suggests that while generating clips is still the number one marker for  press release success, general branding/visibility and traffic-driving capabilities of the press release come in not far behind. 

Of  280 PR Peeps polled, 88 said the most important measure of press release success was generating earned media and clips.   Branding and general awareness-raising came in second with 79 votes, while driving traffic to websites came in third with 73.   Getting link clicks only garnered 20 votes, the same amount as “other.”

In comments attached to the survey, PR pros chimed in with their own ideas on what constitutes press release success. “Getting the phone to ring!”  “developing direct business leads,” and “a smiling client when they see the ROI,” were among the remarks.   We couldn’t agree more with this comment from one PR Peep:  “…distributing a release is only one step in a five- or six-step process (including follow-up pitching, an engaging photo, etc.)” 

The poll was conducted in January and February  through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What’s most important in measuring press release success?

73, or 26%–Driving traffic to our website

20, or 7%–Getting link clicks

88, or 32%–Generating earned media/clips

79, or 28%–General branding/awareness

20, or 7%   — Other

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.  Now we need your help on our February survey: How Good Are Your Headline Habits?

Thanks for the help.

280 respondents via Twitter, email, Facebook and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  January 3 – February 18, 2011.

PR Peeps Poll: Twitter the Favored Social Media Tool, Facebook Not Far Behind

January 5, 2011
by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media
PR Peeps let us know their favorite social media tool in December.  The winner?   Twitter.
A full third of 277 PR Peeps polled chose Twitter as their social media tool of choice in 2010, followed closely by Facebook, with 29% of the vote.   The results amplify a similar poll we conducted in November of 2009, in which more than 41% said they tweet but don’t blog.

No doubt the commitment required from running a company blog has many PR folks turning to link sharing of existing content on social networking sites.  Even hardcore investor relations officers we’ve consulted say they prefer Twitter over a company blog because they don’t have to commit to churning out time-consuming blog posts.

The poll was conducted in November and December  through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

33, or 11%–Company blog

81, or 29%–Facebook

91, or 33%–Twitter

22, or 8%–LinkedIn

13, or 5%   — Other

39, or 14% — We do none of the above

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   Our January poll needs your input.  What’s most important in measuring press release success?

Thanks for the help.

277 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  November 3 – December 31, 2010.

PR Peeps Poll: 43 Percent Cite Driving Traffic as Primary Objective in Optimizing Press Releases

November 3, 2010

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

When it comes to optimizing press releases for search engines, most PR Peeps do it to drive traffic to their websites, the October PR Peeps Poll found.  Of 240 polled, 103–that is, 43%–cited driving traffic as their primary goal in applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to their press releases.

Standard SEO techniques for press releases include working keywords into the headline and lead, providing deep links to your web site, adding multimedia such as logos, photos, or video, and keeping the headline under 70 characters so it is most likely to be indexed by Google news.

The poll results are not surprising given that the objective of most press releases is to tell the story of the issuer.  One of the best ways to do that is to lure people to your website so they can hear your organization’s story in your organization’s words–full text, unedited, unfiltered by journalists, bloggers or others.

The second most common reason cited for optimizing press release for search engines was to “influence Google search engine results” with 69 votes, or 29%.   Shortly behind was “manage reputation” with 36 votes, or 15%, followed by 25 respondents who don’t optimize their press releases for search engines (10%) and 7 respondents pegging “generate link clicks” as their main objective in applying SEO tactics to press releases.

The poll was conducted throughout the month of October through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your primary objective in optimizing your press release for search engines?

103, or 43%–Drive traffic to our website

69, or 29%–Influence Google search engine results

36, or 15%–Manage our brand and reputation

25, or 10%–I don’t optimize my press releases for search engines

7, or 3%   —  Generate link clicks

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   How about helping us with the next one?  The November poll launches today.   What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

Thanks for the help.

240 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  October 1 – 31, 2010.

Tech PR Peeps Poll: 80.4% Say Twitter Overrated As Tool for Pitching Authors

October 25, 2010

This is a guest post from Travis Van.  Travis is the founder of Business Wire partner ITDatabase, a research platform for tech industry PR.

Social media fever runs so high these days that it’s tough for tech PR pros to distinguish real opportunities from the useless fluff regularly offered up by pundits.

Particularly unclear is to what extent the tech PR community is actually getting results with their social media efforts.  Anecdotally, we all know that social media can engage customers in unique ways. But what about the big picture? Are intensive social media campaigns consistently productive, or are they wild goose chases punctuated with an occasional success story? Has social media really become a staple of tech PR pros’ everyday interaction with journalists and bloggers?

ITDatabase recently polled tech PR pros to share their experiences with what’s working (and what’s not), and focused our questions on these most popular social networking channels. While the sample only really scratches the surface (230 tech PR pro respondents, of which 30.4% were in house at a tech company and 69.6% were on the agency side), some of the results may surprise you.

Here are some of the key findings:

Presence of Journalists / Bloggers on Social Media

As a pretext for the survey, we did our own research and found that of the 5,000 most active tech journalists and bloggers:

61% are on LinkedIn
56% are on Twitter
28% are on Facebook
27% do NOT publish email addresses as a method for contacting them

Despite the social media hype, pitching by email is still the norm. 97.8% of respondents still pitch either exclusively or primarily by email, with only 2.2% claiming to pitch “primarily” via social media channels. 50% said tech authors are less responsive to email pitches than they used to be, and only 15.2% said they were more receptive. 89.1% were either “mildly” or “very” concerned that their email pitches were sometimes zapped by authors’ spam filters and never read.

Tech PR reps are indeed using Twitter heavily, but more for research than for outreach. Only 4.3% said they “frequently” pitch authors via Twitter. 26.1% have never pitched an author via Twitter. 54.3% think the media relations results they’ve gotten out of Twitter have justified the time investment. 80.4% think that Twitter is “overrated” as a tool for pitching authors.

More than one quarter of tech PR reps use LinkedIn to reach authors. 28.3% have pitched someone using LinkedIn InMail.

Out of the Big Three (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), Facebook draws the most skepticism from the tech PR community. Only 10.9% connect with tech journalists and bloggers on Facebook “often”. And 80.4% believed that Facebook has the least practical use for tech PR (compared to LinkedIn and Twitter).

Check out the full findings here:

PR Peeps Poll: Almost 70% Tweet the Links to Press Releases

September 3, 2010

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

The August PR Peeps Poll results are in and  68% of those polled said that yes, they DO tweet the links to their press releases.

We’re not surprised, since the same trend is reflected in the Newstrak reports we provide to our clients with every Business Wire press release distribution.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for Twitter to outperform Google in referrals of traffic to press release landing pages in certain kinds of press releases.

What’s equally interesting are the expectations listed for those who do and don’t tweet their press release links.    Far and away, the most common expectation is “more readers and exposure for the press release”–which received 134 votes.  Gaining the attention of journalists on Twitter  was the second most popular reason for tweeting news release links with 69 votes, followed by the need to be present rather than absent on Twitter scoring 49.   Adding Twitter followers counted 46 votes, while 28 respondents said, “I don’t expect much, but it can’t hurt.

Of the 70 out of 221 who said they don’t tweet their press release links, we encourage you to get busy.  It can pay off.  The main reason folks don’t?  “I’m not authorized.”

Complete PR Peeps Poll details follow.

Do you tweet the links to your press release?

Yes–151, or 68%

No–70, or 32%

If yes, what are your expectations?  You can check more than one:

134–Add more Twitter followers

46–Add followers to my Twitter feed

69–Gain attention of journalists on Twitter

49–Be present rather than absent in the Twitterverse

22–I don’t expect much, but it can’t hurt.

If no, why not?

19–I’m not on Twitter

14–I don’t see the point

20–I’m not authorized


To all those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.  Please partake in our new IR Pros Poll, which launches this month: Which new media tools does your company utilize in its investor relations efforts?

221 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted August 2 – September 1, 2010.

Tuesday Mornings the Best Time to Send a Press Release According to PR Peeps Poll

August 4, 2010


by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media


Tuesday mornings are the best time to send a press release, according to 215 professional communicators surveyed in our latest PR Peeps poll.   The data reinforces our longstanding advice on the topic.  For decades we’ve told  clients that the best time to send  a press release  is “early in the day, early in the week.” 

Of course the general disclaimer “It depends” applies here, as the timing of  any press release is subject to the nature of the news, goals of that release, the news of the day, and other variables.   That said, we’ll resist the urge to say “I told you so,” and enjoy the fleeting affirmation of having PR Peeps confirm our sage advice. 

This poll was  a challenge to analyze, as it was the first time we asked an open-ended question.  (Note to self:  in the future, ask only multiple choice questions. ) In retrospect, we could have done a better job framing the survey, as responses ranged from time of day, to day of week, to general musings such as “when you have news to announce” or “you’re the experts–you tell us!”

That said, the single most common answer, with 135 votes, was “mornings” or a variation thereof, such as “before noon” or “before 10 AM.”   The second biggest vote getter, with 71 votes, was Tuesdays or a variation, such as “Tues. – Thursday.”

Below are the details, as best we can present them.

When’s the Best Time to Send a Press Release?

Tuesdays–71, or 53%

Mondays –16, or 7 %

Mornings–135, or 63%

10 AM–17, or 8%

As mentioned above, the numbers don’t add up to 215, since many people answered with multiple recommendations such as “about 10 AM, Mon – Thursday” while others answered in unique and difficult-to-quantify ways.    The numbers above are our best reflection of the data. We apologize for the lack of scientific approach here–any market researchers who want to pile on with advice, please email me at

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:  Do You Tweet the Links to Your Press Release?  This poll is back to multiple choice. 

215 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted July 6 – August 2, 2010


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