Reporters need PR pros more than ever, according to a new study from Prosek Partners. Close to all (95 percent) of the financial and business journalists who were surveyed said that they are using PR professionals as much or more than they did before the pandemic.

Part of that may stem from a difficulty in finding sources. A majority (61 percent) of survey respondents said that they are now finding it harder to develop connections with new sources, and half (50 percent) say that they are relying more on third-party sources than they did before.

Prosek Study: Reporters need PR professionals more than ever
View full infographic for Prosek's 2020 Journalist Survey

There was also a significant desire to get back to pre-pandemic work habits. More than two-thirds (69 percent) said they plan to be in the office by the end of Q1 2021, with 26 percent saying they plan to be back at their desks by the end of the year.

But flexible working arrangements will still be a big draw, with 62 percent of respondents saying that they expect some or all of that flexibility to remain in place even after things return to normal.

As regards conducting interviews face-to-face as opposed to virtually, two thirds (67 percent) predict that they’ll be comfortable with in-person interviews by March 2021, and 34 percent say they’re comfortable with socially distanced in-person interviews now. However, more than a quarter (26 percent) labeled in-person interviews “a thing of the past.”

Survey respondents also expect that New York and London will maintain their status as financial and business news hubs. Well over half (62 percent) say that the two cities will either maintain or grow their level of importance after COVID.

“New York City and London have long been recognized as influential, global media hubs and agencies and clients have organized themselves around these hubs,” said Prosek Partners managing partner Jennifer Prosek. “It’s clear that these hubs will continue to prevail in the post-pandemic world.”

The Prosek study surveyed 86 journalists between Oct. 1 and 20.