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Research

STUDY: Bloggers Now Outnumber Traditional Journalists

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Those who make the PR industry run don’t just hear a lot about how dramatically the media is changing — they see it every day.

That said, it’s always interesting to view those observations quantified in data form.

The most recent media survey conducted by our friends at Business Wire shows us, in charts and graphs and numbers drawn from interviews with 300 North American journalists, how “newsrooms” around the country have changed. In fact, more writers now work for blogs like the one you’re currently reading than for more traditional media outlets.

More on that after the jump.

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STUDY: Social Media Is Winning PR War for Anti-Fracking Groups

Signs protesting the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, are seen near the town of Calicoon Center, New YorkWe’ve written frequently about the PR war over hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” — anti-fracking and environmental groups VS. the energy companies that have adopted the controversial practice. Now, a recent study by Makovsky suggests that while both sides may be impassioned and dedicated to winning the debate, the war is being fought on two different battle grounds, and the side utilizing social media appears to be the side that’s winning.

The survey revealed that 57% of U.S. consumers believe that fracking is one of the three most important environmental issues today. Furthermore, 65% of respondents (71% in fracking cities) say they hear about the issue at least weekly, and 77% say they hear about it primarily from internet news sites and social media.

Now here’s the kicker: the study also found that the vast majority of social media mentions of the subject are coming from anti-fracking activists and groups. In fact, of the 1.3 million Twitter mentions of fracking from January through July 2014, anti-fracking activists generated 2000% more impressions than groups supportive of the practice. Let us spell that out again… two-thousand percent! Read more

PR Specialists Trump Journalists in Number and Average Salary

FT_Salary_GapCongratulations are in order to every journo-turned-PR specialist. According to the latest report from the PewResearch Center, you’re now making nearly $20K more per year than you would if you hadn’t sold your soul to the dark art of public relations.

If the numbers stay on track, that gap will continue to grow.

Consider the chart to the right: In 2004, for every $1 a PR specialist made, a reporter made 71¢. Fast forward nine years and the number is 65¢—that’s a 6¢ loss.

It gets better (or worse, depending on your vantage point).

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How the Music Industry Brainwashes Us to Like Songs We (Rightfully) Hate

dd914540-a3ff-11e3-8aeb-b5427b31fc45_Iggy-Azalea-Fancy-PollThe first time I heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” I loathed it, like wouldn’t-get-through-30-seconds-before-I-changed-the-station loathed it. But here I am in August, a few months after the song’s release, and I find that while I still truly do not enjoy the song, my resolve to burn it out of my mind and all existence has weakened, and I no longer feel the overwhelming need to leap out a third-story window if it suddenly comes on while out with friends.

As it turns out, there’s a real, neurological reason for my surrender, and it’s one the music industry uses to its full advantage — think of it like Stockholm Syndrome, but auditory — and the kidnapper with whom you slowly grow to sympathize is Katy Perry’s latest auto-tuned nightmare.

The phenomenon was revealed in an fMRI study, which suggested that repeated exposure to a song is actually a more effective means of winning the hearts of the public than writing a song that they might actually like. This is because the emotional centers of the brain are more active when a person hears a song he or she has heard previously than when hearing an unfamiliar song that better suits the person’s musical taste. It seems our brains confuse the ability to recognize and remember a song with actually enjoying it. Read more

Get Ready for More Entry-Level Jobs (Some Experience Required)

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Last week, Laurent Lawrence of the PRSA wrote an op-ed on the reasons behind PR’s big turnover problem. One of the issues he addressed was “nonexistent onboarding”, or managers who hire entry-level employees and expect them to manage accounts, like, yesterday.

In an unrelated story this April, Richard Edelman responded to an inflammatory Financial Times piece by admitting that too many firms “dump” their media relations work on the very same newbies. Sorry, guys.

Yet a report published late yesterday in The Wall Street Journal tells us to expect an increase in entry-level PR jobs over the next few years. Here’s the thing: those jobs will require more experience and more refined skill sets than they did in the past.

As the WSJ’s Lauren Weber says in the video after the jump, “internships are the new entry-level jobs.”

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Ogilvy Survey: Social and Earned Media Are Inseparable

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This week, another new survey attempts to answer the question at the heart of the public relations discipline in our digital era: how has social media changed the behavior of journalists and the PR teams that interact with them every day?

The survey, released today by Ogilvy PR’s Media Influence unit after conducting interviews with 75 US-based reporters, editors and producers, brought both expected and surprising conclusions. In short: despite certain misconceptions, social has only enhanced the value of earned media. The two are inseparable.

We spoke to friend of the site Jennifer Risi, managing director of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations, for conclusions and lessons learned after the jump.

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STUDY: How Many Brands Would You Call ‘Friends?’

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Is your favorite brand the kind that you might call…your best friend? How many brands would even qualify as casual acquaintances? And which ones do you come back to again and again like a well-worn pair of pants?

Yes, these are ridiculous questions–but they’re also very serious, because their answers go a long way toward determining where the average John or Jane spends his/her money. A new survey of more than 4,000 consumers worldwide by IBM-owned email marketing tech provider Silverpop addresses the very real idea that every business should personalize its service as much as possible.

As you probably know, a “best friend” brand is one that will regularly lead consumers to open and even actually read emails, therefore leading to more sales etc.

Some stats, then:

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Survey Says Clients Trust Ad, Marketing Agencies Over PR Firms

YOUR AD HERE

We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but a recent survey of in-house marketers conducted by Marketing Week and Weber Shandwick tells us that, when asked to name a “primary strategic partner”, far more clients chose their ad and marketing agencies than their PR firms. Here’s a mixed-message quote:

“More than five times as many marketers say PR agencies are losing ground as say they are gaining ground on other specialisms. There is good news too for the discipline. Respondents agree that PR agencies take the lead on messaging and are a strategic partner, and that reputation management is crucial in a digital world.”

The news could be worse, though–and it is far worse for social media agencies.

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STUDY: Journalists Spend Less Than One Minute Reading Each Press Release

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They all blend together at a certain point…

We have a new candidate for least surprising survey conclusions via comms firm Greentarget: journalists like your press releases nice and short.

No, shorter than that. Shorter…shorter…almost there…

This one hits a little too close to home for us. Key stat: the average participant in this survey received approximately 50 releases every week–and spent less than one minute reading each one he or she opened.

You’ll click through and spend about three minutes reading this post though, won’t you?

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Q&A: What Are the Keys to Effective B2B Branding?

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Hint: it doesn’t have to be as dull as a stock photo of a business meeting

It’s one thing to raise awareness of a consumer brand among the general public, but B2B audiences are even tougher in many ways. They don’t just want a catchy campaign, a clever social feed or, say, a tasty snack–they want products that will help them do their jobs better and deliver visible career benefits.

And yet, a recent survey conducted by Omnicom’s global branding firm Siegel+Gale revealed that B2B marketers and PR professionals might have something to learn from their B2C brethren: relate to your customers as living, breathing people rather than streams of behavioral data broadcast from office cubicles.

We asked Brian Rafferty, Global Director of Research Insights for Siegel+Gale, for some guidance on conclusions drawn from the research–and what they mean for PRs who represent B2B clients.

His answers and some interesting numbers after the jump.

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