When it comes to reaching out to the press, email remains far and away the preferred means of making contact, according to a recent survey of reporters.
The findings are the work of Matthew Chudoba, an account director at New York-based agency ICR, who surveyed 93 reporters around the country regarding the preferred methods and platforms by which public relations professionals should contact them.
The survey discovered that literally all of the reporters polled—100 percent—said email is the best way for getting in touch.
Coming in at a distant second was social media, at 18 percent. Only about 11 percent said they want PR pros to contact them via telephone, once the industry standard.
|Reporters’ preferred method of contact.|
Least favorite are reporter platforms such as Qwoted, HARO or ProfNetm, which were a preference among only four percent of the reporters polled. An additional four percent said they want to be contacted via text.
“With all of the new forms of communication that exist today, I was curious if social media overtook email and phone as the best way to contact a reporter,” Chudoba told O’Dwyer’s. “What I found, however, was email is still the preferred method of journalist by a wide margin.”
Reporting on his findings in a LinkedIn post, Chudoba noted that reporters’ preference for email derives from the unique level of control the medium provides. Reporters can vet whatever opportunities come their way and choose to engage if they feel a response is warranted, Chudoba wrote, whereas an unplanned phone call may catch them off-guard or disrupt their train of thought.
Chudoba also said social media is gaining steam as a means of outreach, but warned that PR pros should proceed with caution, as reporters are more likely to use their social media accounts for personal use, making it paramount for PR pros to understand how a reporter is utilizing his/her social pages before reaching out.
Finally, Chudoba noted that reporters said they’re okay with being called by PR pros with whom they have a prior relationship or when those calls are scheduled in advance.
Chudoba surveyed 93 national and local reporters via email in late February.